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
During the ten months of filming, 32 trained animals were used, including five fawns. The fawns needed to be replaced as they aged in order to conform to the description of the title animal. The fawn found by Jody, as he pulls back the foliage, was three days old and had been rescued from a forest fire. Other animals used in filming included 126 deer, 9 black bears, 37 dogs, 53 wild birds, 17 buzzards, 1 owl, 83 chickens, 36 pigs, 8 rattlesnakes, 18 squirrels, 4 horses and 17 raccoons. See more »
The ship crew member says Jody was nearly run down in the dark. But this was not indicated by the shot of Jody in the canoe just prior to pickup. 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 »
Rightfully considered to be one of the premier family films of all time, this is a handsome adaptation of the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings book about a Florida farm family surviving day-to-day hardships. Superbly directed by Clarence Brown, who brings the same "children's book" ambiance to the project as he did with "National Velvet". Well-acted and stunningly photographed on location (by Leonard Smith and Charles Rosher, who won Oscars). Young Claude Jarman, Jr. becomes attached to a troublesome baby deer, and his teary devotion is quite heart-rending. Some of the dialogue is fearsome, and, yes, it's a corny picture in an old-fashioned vein, however it is certainly worth-seeing, even for cynics. *** from ****
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