The book and the movie have both been enjoyed by millions. And when they started shooting a remake of "Where the Red Fern Grows" in Cherokee County back in 1999, it seemed like a natural. But money troubles doomed the movie before it could be finished.
Now it has come back to life at the video store. News on 6 reporter Steve Berg has an update.
"It was a great experience for me and my family and it's a wonderful show." When Lonnie Green heard they needed some vintage, Depression-era trucks for the remake of "Where the Red Fern Grows", he offered them for free. He says he loves the story of the poor Oklahoma farm boy who worked and saved to buy two hunting dogs and learns a tough lesson of tragedy afterward. "I still got a little mud on the truck from down in the holler."
The truck itself is a little rough around the edges, which turned out to be just right for the story of poor folks in the Depression. "I drove up and I said, 'you sure you don't want me to wash this truck.â€™ and he said, "don't wash that truck Mr. Green, its perfect.'"
He even got included for one line as an extra during the raccoon hunt. "I was kind of in the crowd and I hope I show up, I don't know, you never know." So he was heartbroken when the production ran aground with money troubles. But he kept in touch with some of the crew and over the weekend got an e-mail from one of them. "He said, 'we're going to be on DVD and VHS, December the 21st, which really gave us all a thrill." The autographs from the stars are still bright on the dash of the truck.
Lonnie's surprised he'll actually get to see the re-make after 5 long years. "I kept telling my family, I gotta live long enough to see this show, so I got two more months to go, praise the Lord, I hope I can do it, I think I'm gonna make it.â€
Steve Berg talked with the owner of the Tahlequah Motor Lodge, who says that he and other local merchants are still owed thousands of dollars. But he says he accepted a long time ago that he won't recoup the money. He says he's interested in seeing the movie and jokes that the new producers ought to send him a copy.