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Where the Red Fern Grows
     

Where the Red Fern Grows

4.0 14
Director: Lyman D. Dayton, Sam Pillsbury

Cast: Joseph Ashton, Dabney Coleman

 
Based on the 1961 children's novel by Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows is a family-oriented drama four years in the making. This project is co-directed by Lyman Dayton, who also adapted the screenplay and produced the 1974 filmed version. The story involves 12-year-old Billy Coleman (Joseph Ashton), who lives in the Ozark mountains with his mother, Jenny

Overview

Based on the 1961 children's novel by Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows is a family-oriented drama four years in the making. This project is co-directed by Lyman Dayton, who also adapted the screenplay and produced the 1974 filmed version. The story involves 12-year-old Billy Coleman (Joseph Ashton), who lives in the Ozark mountains with his mother, Jenny (Renee Faia), and father, Will (Dave Matthews of the Dave Matthews Band). Billy's grandfather (Dabney Coleman) encourages him to save money to buy a hunting dog. For two years, Billy does odd jobs in order to save the money. When he finally gets enough, he buys two puppies and names them Old Dan and Little Ann. Billy eventually trains them to become hunting dogs and enters the Fall Hunting Competition. Also starring Kris Kristofferson and Ned Beatty. Even though principal photography started in 1999, Where the Red Fern Grows didn't premiere until the 2003 Tribeca Film Festival due to numerous production difficulties and law suits.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
Based on Wilson Rawls's cherished 1961 coming-of-age novel, Where the Red Fern Grows was an audience and critical hit on the film-festival circuit. This is one of those years-in-the-making labors of love that attract top-flight character actors, including Kris Kristofferson (at his folksiest as the narrator), Ned Beatty, and Dabney Coleman. Singer Dave Matthews is also here, making his debut as an actor. This is a very good, and very decent, family film. There is no profanity. The only chase scenes are between hunting dogs and raccoons. The story extols personal responsibility, hard work, faith, family, and friendship. That it makes its premiere on home video speaks volumes about the vagaries of distribution: This is just the sort of film parents always say they'd like to see released in theaters. Joseph Ashton stars as Billy, a poor, barefoot Ozark Mountains boy who yearns for hunting dogs of his own. He earns the money to purchase Old Dan and Little Ann and devotes himself to their care, nurturing and training. Soon, they become known as the best hunting dogs in Oklahoma. But what's a boy-and-his-dogs story without tragedy? A fatal accident involving a local bully and an encounter with a mountain lion will likely, to quote Billy, "bust your heart in two." Where the Red Fern Grows is old-fashioned without being sappy. As Billy prepares to make good on a pledge to fell a titanically large tree, his grandfather tells him, "Every boy should have a tree like this to cut down once in his life." The evocative bluegrass and country score, with songs by Wynonna Judd and the ethereal Alison Krauss, warm the film like a quilt. Awaiting discovery by readers of Rawls's book and dog lovers in general, Red Fern should blossom on home video.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/21/2004
UPC:
0786936253122
Original Release:
2003
Rating:
PG
Source:
Walt Disney Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:26:00
Sales rank:
7,831

Special Features

Closed Caption; The Roots of a Classic - explore the story's journey from book to film through interviews with the author's wife and filmmakers; Lights, Camera, Animals - learn how the film's animal stars were "discovered" and trained for their roles; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound; Two versions: Widescreen (1.85:1) and fullscreen (1.33:1)

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. The Older Billy Coleman [2:16]
2. Finest Huntin' in the Ozarks [4:33]
3. A Good Hound [3:24]
4. Earnin' Them Pups [5:52]
5. Journey to Tahlequah [12:10]
6. Hounds in Training [6:02]
7. Keeping a Promise [7:43]
8. A Fool's Argument [9:50]
9. Redbones and Ringtails [8:54]
10. Storm Coming [8:42]
11. Last Days on the Farm [8:01]
12. Where the Red Fern Grows [7:35]

Videos

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Where the Red Fern Grows 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Disney let their first real Classic Film in years slip right through their fingers. I got the DVD and loved it! But I almost did not buy it because Disney sent it straight to DVD, which means that it is not worthy of a theatrical release. Well, Disney made a huge mistake. This should have been in the theatres during Christmas, not in a DVD store. I guess greed got into the way of Americana and marketing reality. A great injustice was done to the American families by not releasing this in a theatrical setting. Wonder what 'Walt' would have to say. Dabney Coleman and the kid Joseph Ashton were great together, and Dave did a great job. I'm a Dave Matthews fan and I'm sure I speak for all his fans when I say, Disney did his first film and all the families in the USA a grave diservice by sending this great film straight to the stores.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very awesome the book is very big and it is better then the movei atleast with the book you can feel the actions to billy as him and his dogs race through the woods and listen to them dogs treeing that coon it wod take your breathe away
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i think this was a good book for a younger kid
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was very good,but then I read the book and it was better. The movie overall was pretty good and I still give it a 5 stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was in very good condition. Would have like a plastic wrapping.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was really good. i liked the book even more. it's very sad. the movie was pretty good but the book was outstanding! i'm a big fan of Wilson Rawls, the author of the book and i think you will be too if you see the movie or read the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
if you saw the movie and loved it ... read the book. it is much better. then see if you like the movie so much.. overall : bad movie
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film should have been shown in theatres, no doubt it would have been a box-office hit. The Millions of families who have made the book the number 2 childrens book of all times over the past 35 years and the 30Mil plus Dave Matthews fans would have made it a hit. Disney should freeze the DVD sells and release it in the theatres, give it the justice it deserves. The perfect family film. Joseph Ashton was great. If Walt Disney is watching, he would be ashamed at how his company handled this one. It is the first real classic from Disney in years.
Guest More than 1 year ago
uhm..itt was an excellenta movie. buh thee book was MUCH better because itt had more emotion.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago