Disney's 1975 imagining of the classic 1971 Western novel by Jack M. Bickham, best known for the Brad Smith series of tennis mystery thrillers, depicts the exploits of a family led by Russell Donovan fending off their outrageous foes portrayed by Don Knotts and Tim Conway, best known for TV's The Carol Burnett Show, as they seek offbeat romps through a nineteenth-century ghost town. Like all other Bickham novels,
The Apple Dumpling Gang stars Bill Bixby, Susan Clark, Conway and Knotts and is aimed at a family-friendly movie-going audience who believe in the power of the theatrical feature-film Western cult favorite.
The Apple Dumpling Gang was composed by the Sherman brothers and performed by the Jordanaires.
Another of Bickham's most beloved novels, Baker's Hawk, evolved into a 1977 film of the same title.