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The Apple Dumpling Gang (Special Edition)
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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 family...it'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!
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The kids really enjoyed this slapstick, family-friendly film. It also isn't too onerous for adults.Published 23 days ago by jlmagruder
This is a classic that I used to watch with my Mom. Still holds up as my daughter loved it!!Published 1 month ago by Lisa B.
Great movie, with some serious notes, as well as comedic moments. My 10 year old son loved it and wanted to know when we could watch the sequel.Published 1 month ago by RJ
Guess it's ok. We bought for a friend and he thinks it's fine.Published 2 months ago by D. Joanne Cooper
This is a great Don Knotts-Tim Conway movie that is still enjoyable years later.Published 2 months ago by Garza427
It is a classic Disney movie. Definitely Disney at its best on moviesPublished 2 months ago by Gina Bohr