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Where the Red Fern Grows (2003)

PG | | Drama, Family | 3 May 2003 (USA)
1:34 | Trailer

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Where the Red Fern Grows is the heartwarming and adventurous tale for all ages about a young boy and his quest for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs.


Wilson Rawls (novel), Douglas C. Stewart (screenplay) (as Doug C. Stewart) | 3 more credits »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Where the Red Fern Grows is the heartwarming and adventurous tale for all ages about a young boy and his quest for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs.

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Ashton ... Billy Coleman
Dave Matthews ... Will Coleman
Renee Faia ... Jenny Coleman
Mac Davis ... Hod Bellington
Kris Kristofferson ... Older Billy Coleman
Ned Beatty ... Sheriff Abe McConnell
Dabney Coleman ... Grandpa
Gary Anson Gary Anson ... Bully Wendell
Orvel Baldridge Orvel Baldridge ... Mr. Pritchard
Robert Bauman Robert Bauman ... Hunter #2
Andrew Dickison Andrew Dickison ... Rainie Pritchard
Stuart Dickison Stuart Dickison ... Rubin Pritchard
Julia Downs Julia Downs ... Sarah Coleman
Tess Downs ... Alice Coleman
Kevin Gourd Kevin Gourd ... Bully Garth


Where the Red Fern Grows is the heartwarming and adventurous tale for all ages about a young boy and his quest for his own red-bone hound hunting dogs. Set in the Ozark Mountains during the Great Depression, Billy Coleman works hard and saves his earnings for 2 years to achieve his dream of buying two coonhound pups. He develops a new trust in God as he faces overwhelming challenges in adventure and tragedy roaming the river bottoms of Cherokee country with "Old Dan" and "Little Ann." The movie follows the inseparable trio as they romp relentlessly through the Ozarks, trying to tree the elusive "Ghost" raccoon. Their efforts prove victorious as they win the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, capture wily ghost coons and bravely fight a mountain lion. Through these adventures Billy realizes the meaning of true friendship, loyalty, integrity and heroics, in this timeless and poignant coming of age story. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

3 May 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Amigos de Caça See more »

Filming Locations:

Cookson Hills, Oklahoma, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Robert S. Telford who played the Station Master in the original 1974 movie of the same name plays the exact same character here nearly 30 years later. See more »


When Billy picks up the pups from the train station, they are about eight weeks old, but in the montage following showing him with the pups on his trip home, in the shot with the pups frolicking in the camp the next morning, they appear to be about three months old. Then, when he gets home and shows them to his parents, they are again eight weeks old. See more »


Remake of Where the Red Fern Grows (1974) See more »


The Wild Rumpus
Written by Jerry Douglas
Performed by Jerry Douglas
Licensed from and used by permission of Sugar Hill Records, a Welk Music Group Company
(P) 2002 Sugar Hill Records, a Welk Music Group Company
See more »

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User Reviews

Two thumbs down!
27 December 2004 | by terrillwhite-1See all my reviews

To start, I am a huge Red Fern fan. I have the first one on DVD and video and also have read the book several times. I am from Tahlequah, OK where the movies were filmed and so it does strike a home chord for me. I finally purchased the remake today and I must say that I am so disappointed. Usually remakes kind of mix things up a little bit to make it a little more interesting than the first . . . this is exactly like the first, almost word for word and the acting leaves you wondering where they come up with these people at. Dave Matthews should stick with his singing gig and the boy that played Billy Coleman was awful. Also the movie was very unrealistic. I have been coon hunting several times and you let the dogs do the hunting and just wait until they bark treed. This poor kid is running all over the woods right behind the coon. UNREALISTIC. Also, I love how it is pouring down rain and they are fogging up dust. Poor special effects! Dust doesn't fog up in the rain! This movie was a good waste of $21 and also a good waste of Tahlequah's money since most of the bills were left unpaid here by the production crew! BAD MOVIE!

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