Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975)

A slick gambler named Russell Donovan is duped into taking care of a group of orphans who eventually strike gold during the California Gold Rush.

Set during the California Gold Rush, a gambler named Russell Donovan (played by Bill Bixby) arrives to town and finds himself duped into taking care of a trio of orphans with the town's sheriff, barber, Justice of the Peace, and judge Homer McCoy (played by Harry Morgan) telling him that he is legally obligated unless he can have someone else take custody of the children. By chance, the Bradley children end up finding gold with everyone in the town attempting to adopt the children from Donovan. Fearing they would not have the children's intentions in heart, he arranged a marriage with the stagecoach driver Magnolia Dusty Clydesdale (played by Susan Clark) so they can keep custody of the Bradley children. However, things become complicated when their legal guardian returns. At the same time, a pair of bumbling holdup men named Amos Tucker and Theodore Ogelvie (played by Tim Conway and Don Knotts) attempt to steal the Bradleys' gold before their former boss Frank Stillwell (played by Slim Pickens) kidnap the children while stealing the gold. But it ends with the gold nugget blown to bits, Stillwell arrested, and Donovan and Dusty keeping the Bradley children as they use the reward money for Stillwell's arrest to buy a farm where a reformed Amos and Theodore ask to work at.

 Bill Bixby as Russell Donovan
Susan Clark as Magnolia Dusty Clydesdale
Don Knotts as Theodore Ogelvie
Tim Conway as Amos Tucker
David Wayne as Col. T.R. Clydesdale
Slim Pickens as Frank Stillwell
Harry Morgan as Homer McCoy
John McGiver as Leonard Sharpe
Don Knight as John Wintle
Clay O'Brien as Bobby Bradley
Brad Savage as Clovis Bradley
Stacy Manning as Celia Bradley

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