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Based on Wilson Rawls's 1961 novel of the same name, Where the Red Fern Grows is the touching story of a 12-year-old, Ozark mountain boy (Joseph Ashton) who wants a dog so badly he performs odd jobs for months and saves enough to get two hunting hounds. Just as he hoped, the dogs usher in a period of golden adventure and happiness. Moreover, the pets prove profitable at awards shows and courageous while fending off danger from wild animals. No story about a farm boy and his best four-legged pals is complete, however, without sacrifice and ensuing wisdom; Where the Red Fern Grows has plenty of both. This 2003 feature is co-directed by the original 1974 film's producer and screenwriter, Lyman Dayton, and while it is both efficient and emotionally effective, one might have expected this second go-round to be a bit more deeply felt. Supporting performances by Dabney Coleman and Kris Kristofferson are commendable, while Dave Matthews (yes, that Dave Matthews) has a sweet presence as the hero's kind father.

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WD34746 Where the Red Fern Grows DVD (2003/Kris Kristofferson) $14.99 $13.49