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The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again DVD Review

"The Apple Dumpling Gang" movie poster - click to buy from MovieGoods.com The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again

Theatrical Release: July 6, 1979 / Running Time: 88 Minutes / Rating: G

Director: Vincent McEveety

Cast: Tim Conway (Amos), Don Knotts (Theodore Oglevie), Tim Matheson (Private Jeff Reed), Kenneth Mars (Marshal Wooly Bill Hitchcock), Elyssa Davalos (Miss Gaskill), Jack Elam (Big Mack), Robert Pine (Lt. Jim Ravencroft), Harry Morgan (Maj. Gaskill), Ruth Buzzi (Old Tough Kate)

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Review by Captain Hook

The Apple Dumpling Gang had many of the things people have loved in Disney movies
little children, adventure, comedy, and animals. In The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again, the most comedic supporting element of the first film comes to the foreground, as Tim Conway and Don Knotts return as the likable bumbling thieves Amos and Theodore.

This sequel begins with Theodore and Amos traveling on the back of their mule Clarise, then suddenly shifts to the troubled Fort Concho, which is where much of the movie takes place. Major Gaskill (played by Harry Morgan, the Sheriff in the original) is tremendously worried by the fact that supplies have been taken and soldiers killed from his fort it's likely he'll lose his job if they don't stop soon.

Amos and Theodore reach Junction City, as we learn that they have left Donovan and Dusty's house because Theodore doesn't want to go down as becoming a farmer. Thinking they can find riches overnight, they buy some new clothes and get their picture taken. Of course, hilarity ensues when Clarise enters the photographer's room. Things would go well for them until they happen upon some bank robbers, and then are accused of being the bank robbers by Marshal Wooly Bill Hitchcock (Kenneth Mars). Fleeing the marshal, our comic heroes climb into the back of a wagon, which takes them straight to Fort Concho.

Into the mix we throw Miss Millie Gaskill (Elyssa Davalos) and Private Jeff Reid (Tim Matheson), who don't hit it off too well in the beginning, but we know that their romance must work out (although Millie is engaged to Lieutenant Ravencroft played by Robert Pine). And if that isn't confusing enough, more characters come along throughout the entire picture. Like the original, the problem of keeping track of so many characters can get confusing, but watching it is a bit easier than writing this review. Finally at the end the true bank robbers are caught, as well as the man in the fort who is betraying Major Gaskill (though not before Amos and Theodore, er, Teresa, dress up as barroom girls to escape scary).

One particularly funny scene is when Theodore and Amos single handedly burn down the entire fort. Some amazing special effects are also evident when the part of the fort explodes, and our poor duo are burnt to a crisp.

Buy The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again on DVD from Amazon.com DVD Details

1.33:1 Reformatted Fullscreen
Dolby Digital Mono (English, Spanish)
Subtitles: English
Closed Captioned
Release Date: January 14, 2003
Single-sided, dual-layered disc (DVD-9)
Suggested Retail Price: $14.99
(Reduced from $19.99)
White Keepcase

VIDEO and AUDIO

This film is not presented in its original widescreen aspect ratio (probably 1.75:1). Video quality runs down to being about a VHS quality. Though it is nowhere near as grainy as some live action catalogue titles, it still suffers from many artifacts. The colors are muted, and overall, it's lacking.

Audio is fine, as you can hear the dialogue clearly,
though certainly not up to par with The Apple Dumpling Gang. It is presented in a Dolby Digital Mono Sound Track, and also has a Spanish Language Track.

EXTRAS

There is no such word on this disc. There is one Sneak Peek for live action films (mostly full screen) at the beginning. It's actually pathetic how poorly this disc is done, particularly compared to the nice Special Edition treatment the original Apple Dumpling Gang received.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Unlike The Apple Dumpling Gang, this poor DVD only offers a fullscreen, barebones presentation under the banner "Walt Disney Film Classics: The Don Knotts Collection." Though the film is a riot, this DVD is probably worth passing on, unless you simply must have it after watching The Apple Dumpling Gang.

It's disappointing that this tremendously pleasing sequel, unique from the first, is given barebones/fullscreen treatment. If you're willing, you might as well get a copy or at least rent it, so if Disney decides to release this as a Special Edition like Return from Witch Mountain, you can know you'll want to buy this wonderful movie.

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Related Reviews:
The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)
Hot Lead & Cold Feet (1978) | Gus (1976) | Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
Return from Witch Mountain (1978) | Pete's Dragon (1977)
The Strongest Man in the World (1975) | Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo (1977)
Herbie Goes Bananas (1980) | The Biscuit Eater (1972) | Savage Sam (1963)
Herbie Rides Again (1974) | Now You See Him, Now You Don't (1972)
The Black Hole (1979) | The Cat From Outer Space (1978)

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Reviewed May 6, 2004.