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Big Red (1962)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Drama, Family | 6 June 1962 (USA)
A wealthy sportsman's decision to hire a backwoods orphan to exercise a champion Irish Setter has unexpected consequences.


Norman Tokar


Jim Kjelgaard (novel), Louis Pelletier

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Complete credited cast:
Walter Pidgeon ... James Haggin
Gilles Payant ... Rene Dumont
Émile Genest ... Emile Fornet
Janette Bertrand ... Therese Fornet
Georges Bouvier Georges Bouvier ... Baggageman
Doris Lussier ... Farmer Mariot
Rolland Bédard ... Conductor
Teddy Burns Goulet ... Engineer


A wealthy sportsman's decision to hire a backwoods orphan to exercise a champion Irish Setter has unexpected consequences.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


BRAVE RUNAWAYS...together they conquered the wilderness and the heart of a proud man!


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:

Official site


USA | Canada



Release Date:

6 June 1962 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A nagy vörös kutya See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was Gilles Payant's only film. See more »


Emile says that Big Red's right paw is injured (in French), but he examines the left paw (which was the one previously caught in the fence). See more »


Referenced in A Country Coyote Goes Hollywood (1965) See more »


Written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
See more »

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User Reviews

Lesser rated simply because Quebec born Gilles Payant speaks with an inherited strong French accent
12 June 2018 | by Ed-ShullivanSee all my reviews

This is a good family film from the Disney vaults that has been tucked away in relative obscurity mainly because the lead child actor Gilles Payant, who was born in Quebec does not speak with a clear American speaking accent that Americans are always expecting to hear. Otherwise, this film is unfairly noted as a "foreign film". Such narrow mindness has its own reward that those open minded film goers who have seen Big Red still consider it a Disney classic some 56 years later.

A hero Irish Red Setter befriending a Quebec boy who is an orphan himself sets out into the middle of the wilderness to find his beloved pupil dog only to find out that Big Red has now become a father. Big Red wants his offspring pups and their mother to be granted the freedom to choose where to live rather than to have a wealthy dog breeder sell them off as damaged goods. Actor Gilles Payant who plays the orphan boy Rene Dumont is not concerned about his own welfare and decides to leave his job in a full blown effort to find Big Red and his soon to be mother of his offspring in the wilderness after escaping from their shipping container on a freight train.

Breeder and dog owner James Haggin (played by Walter Pidgeon) has one of those come to Jesus moments when he realizes that the orphan boy Rene Dumont who he had hired to simply exercise Big Red has sacrificed his job and decent way of life to find the lost dog, Big Red, in the middle of thousand of square miles of wild country. So dog owner James Haggin gets on his horse with his rifle in hand to find Rene Dumont and bring him home. The ending is a hero's welcome that Walt Disney is known for but back in 1962 Walt Disney was lesser known for making dramatic films and so this film received little recognition.....until now.

I hope the Disney vault releases a Blu Ray version sometime soon. I give the film a decent 8 out of 10 rating.

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