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The Apple Dumpling Gang (Special Edition) (1975)

Bill Bixby , Susan Clark , Frank Phillips , Norman Tokar  |  G |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.99
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The Apple Dumpling Gang (Special Edition) + The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again + The Ghost and Mr. Chicken
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Product Details

  • Actors: Bill Bixby, Susan Clark, Tim Conway, Don Knotts, David Wayne
  • Directors: Frank Phillips, Norman Tokar
  • Writers: Screenplay By Don Tait, Based On The Book By Jack M. Bickham
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.75:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 2, 2003
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009YXAV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,213 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Apple Dumpling Gang (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

Audio Commentary With Susan Clark, Tim Conway, Don Knotts, And Brad Savage

Editorial Reviews

When planning sets for the film, the designers decided three copies of the bank had to be built. One was indoors on a soundstage while two matching exteriors were built on the backlot, one of them roofless with burned beams exposed.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First they blew into town... then they BLEW IT UP! September 22, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I bought this movie out of a sense of nostalgia, being a child of the seventies. Watching this movie now, it didn't quite hold up as well as I remembered, but it is somewhat entertaining, and I would feel comfortable showing it to my nieces and nephews, given its' lack of anything that could be considered even remotely offensive.
The plot has Donovan (Bill Bixby), a bachelor and small time hustler of sorts, getting stuck with the care of three orphan children. As he tries to unburden himself of his three wards, he finds the townspeople to be less than receptive to the idea of taking in the children. These orphans hold the deed to a goldmine, thought by everyone to be dried up, but an earthquake turns up a huge gold nugget, and now the townspeople are falling over themselves to take custody. Donovan, actually concerned with the welfare of the children, works up a plan to marry Dusty (Susan Clark), and pass the children on to her care, as she seems truly interested in the welfare of the children, and not their money.
Don Knotts and Tim Conway play a pair of bungling thieves who scheme, among other things, to try and steal the huge gold nugget. The whole ladder theft from the firehouse scene was pretty funny.
Some other easily recognizable stars in this movie are Harry Morgan and Slim Pickens.
As I said before, while the movie didn't seem as humorous to me now as it did when I was a child, it was certainly entertaining. It's a fine wide screen presentation, but what I really enjoyed was the special features. The interactive menus are excellent and grant access to quite a lot of interesting information like lengthy biographies, interviews, history of the back lots at Disney studios, promotional stills and advertising material for the movie, a synopsis of what was going on at Walt Disney in 1975 (the year this movie was released), and so much more.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
there isn't a star-studded soundtrack. there aren't guest appearances by every grown-up's favorite comedians. there is a noticeable lack of sarcasm. there aren't any kids saying grown-up "quasi curse phrases" like "that blows!" "he sucks" or any of that stuff.

in other words, it's vintage disney -- from that era when disney actually created movies for CHILDREN, instead of attempting to entertain "the entire family" by introducing borderline material that most kids under the age of 10 (like my 8- and 5-year-old) have no business hearing.

the "villains" are silly, hapless caricatures of "bad guys," and while they do carry and shoot guns, it's very stooges-y slapsticky types of "violence." somewhere along the line, "modern parents" and pop culture collectively decided that silly armed villains are a bigger menace to society than children who say mean, hurtful, sarcastic things to each other, their parents, teachers and all other adults/authority figures.

frankly, movies like THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG are more than funny and entertaining; they possess a charm and innocence that children aren't allowed to have anymore, because america wants their children to grow up as soon as possible. unfortunately, on a social level, "growing up" too often means being disrespectful, negative, cynical and sarcastic at far too early an age.

don't mean to be on the soapbox, don't mean to be too old-fashioned, but this wonderful movie is more than just a fun two hours for the's a reminder that maybe it's not such a bad idea to make childhood last a little longer than it seems to now.

worth every penny...just like the benji and original herbie movies. my kids love it!
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Apple Dumpling Gang April 2, 2005
Seven ways to tell THE APPLE DUMPLING GANG is a Walt Disney movie.

1- The story is set in Quake City, California, and is a western. The story is about three orphans - nine-year-old Clovis (Brad Savage), thirteen-year-old Bobby (Clay O'Brien), and seven-year-old Celia (Stacy Manning) - who aren't as insufferably cute as you were worried they'd be.

2- The movie deals with a classic Disney theme - lost children in search of love and security. The movie throws the athletic Susan George and the charming Bill Bixby in their path. George plays a stagecoach driver and Bixby a roving gambler who becomes guardian of the children, and who, most of the time, forgets there's a pretty woman `neath George's cowboy clothes and trail dust. Bixby nearly burns down the cabin when he tries to fix the kids dinner. There's no way George and Bixby will ever get together, even though the kids need a stable family.

3- The scariest moment takes place in an abandoned gold mine. You know this is a Disney movie because the vermin scuttling about the dark mineshafts aren't bats and rats, but rather the less threatening owls and mice.

4- The scariest bad guy is played by Slim Pickens, who does put one of the kids in danger for a little while, but for the most part is an inept outlaw.

5- The other bad guys are played by Don Knotts and Tim Conway, dumb and dumber partners who can't seem to do much of anything right. How dumb are they? After casing a bank prior to robbing it, Don Knotts tells Tim Conway "It's a piece of cake!" to which an agitated Conway responds "You mean it ain't gold!?"

6- You know this is a Disney movie because the sets are richly detailed and look good and realistic.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites of all time.
I remember going to the drive in to see this movie. It brings back a lot of good memories. Don Knotts and Tim Conway were the best at physical comedy. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Kyle M.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie
I have always enjoyed this classic film. It was great to relive the experience. Amazon makes it easy to watch.
Published 16 days ago by Bearsrule86
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Family movie
We have love this move for 20 years.
So glad to be able to get it on DVD. You don't have to worry about anything with this movie.
Published 1 month ago by Elisa Gaskill
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for family movie night
They say you can’t con an honest man, and Russel Donovan (played by Bill Bixby) proves it when he is conned into picking up some “valuables” that turn out to be three children. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kurt A. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Must see for any Family
One of the best family movies ever made. Tim Conway and Don Knotts were as good if not better than any comedy team ever.
Published 2 months ago by Lacy Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch this move
Two of the funniest people ever star in it and it was well written move I have ever watched lol
Published 2 months ago by Wayne Cowin
5.0 out of 5 stars Took me back to my childhood
Perfectly captured movie. Don knotts is Hilarious. I would highly recommend it to anyone. Childreen of all ages will love it.
Published 2 months ago by Robert
5.0 out of 5 stars It is funny!
I recommend The Apple Dumpling Gang for families who want
a fun time together. A great clean family fun time movie.
Published 2 months ago by Sharon Shoemaker
5.0 out of 5 stars G and lots of laughs
a'lsdk alfj ;'al ' ';a ';ajog This part is stupid that I must do this. So often times you get NO rating from me. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Jim Bush
5.0 out of 5 stars Clean, wholesome movie - something rarely seem anymore
Wish they still made movies like this that are funny, no foul language or even a hint of it, no inappropriate sexual references, with great actors. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Laura Frost
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