After the American Civil War, a rebel soldier and his wife become pioneer farmers in Florida. Their son Jody is 11 years old; he gets along well with his warm and affectionate pa, but his ma is haunted by the death of her other children, so she's somber, even cold. The boy wants a pet: the dad is sympathetic, the mom obdurate. When a rattler bites pa, pa kills a doe to use its organs to draw out the poison. Jody begs to keep the doe's fawn as a pet. The parents agree, and the boy and the deer are soon inseparable. The fawn grows quickly, and as a yearling tramples tobacco shoots and eats the newly-sprouted corn. This is too much for ma, and Jody has to face harsh, adult realities. Written by
Jane Wyman's daughter refused to speak to her for two weeks after she saw the film. See more »
Position of Jody's hands change when he hides his laugh after Ma tells a story during the storm. See more »
[on the ocasion of the buryal of Fodderwing]
Oh Lord. Almighty God. It ain't for us ignorant mortals to say what's right and what's wrong. Was any one of us to be doin' of it, we'd not of bring this poor boy into the world a cripple, and his mind teched. We'd of bring him in straight and tall like his brothers, fitten to live and work and do. But in a way o' speakin', Lord, you done made it up to him. You give him a way with the wild creatures. You give him a sort of wisdom, made him knowin' and...
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All scenes involving animals in this picture were made under the supervision and with the cooperation of the American Humane Association See more »
One would have to be heartless not to be disarmed by this beautifully photographed, acted and realized story of a young boy's timeless, blissful childhood, represented by the yearling, and its inevitable end.
There is a stage in childhood, somewhere between the terrible twos and teens, when a boy or girl is without guile, believing that kindness and good intentions make everything right. Then, one day they discover that sometimes kindness and good intentions are not enough. That sometimes only death will put things right.
Directed by the great Clarence Brown, the entire film is a delight, but there are moments in it . . . the boy's night in a treehouse, with an ethereal little lame friend, when the boy discovers the faun, when they both gambol in the everglade. By all rights, scenes like these - and some of the lines - ought to make one cringe, but they don't. They are transcendent.
This is a family film. This means one for the whole family. See it with your kids. Learn from it as they do.
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