Tahlequah area residents are happy ' Where The Red Fern Grows' movie is finally on DVD

Friday, January 7th 2005, 11:18 am
By: News On 6

A lot of folks in Tahlequah are happy to see the new release of "Where the Red Fern Grows". The movie, shot in Cherokee County, is finally out on DVD, years after shooting started and then stopped when the producers ran out of money.

News on 6 reporter Emory Bryan talked with a couple of people who waited years to see their part on film.

It’s the kind of music that gets your feet tapping, and that's just what the producers of "Where the Red Fern Grows" wanted for their film. They called local musicians Brad Henderson and Carl Farinelli.

Carl Farnelli: "They said it would be a half hour or an hour, we got out there, in my memory about 2 pm and they filmed us after midnight." The hours of filming turned into a few seconds of screen time. They played "Old Joe Clark" for a coon hunting scene. Brad Henderson: "I thought if they used any of it, we'd be just a blurb, but they used that portion of the soundtrack for that part of the movie."

Now there is Ruby and her owner. The owner is not in the movie - but the dog is. Dog owner Drew Sampsel: “Ruby wasn't really a hunter; she's more of a show dog." Ruby was cast as one of Billy Coleman's coon dogs. She played an older puppy. Other hounds played the same part, both younger and older. "They ask if she was grown in the movie and she was just a puppy, but she's since grown up."

When shooting started on the movie, lots of locals got small parts, but the film company went under before it was finished. Now they can all see themselves, and most seem happy with the film. Farinelli: “When I saw this film it touched my heart, I reacted to it the way I did when I was little and first heard the story.”

Farinelli and the others doubt they'll ever get another movie role, but are happy this tune finally played out.