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The Yearling (1946)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Family  |  May 1947 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,066 users  
Reviews: 70 user | 19 critic

A boy persuades his parents to allow him to adopt a young deer, but what will happen if the deer misbehaves?



(screen play), (based on the Pulitzer Prize novel by), 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Margaret Wycherly ...
Lem Forrester
Donn Gift ...


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

boy | deer | fawn | pet | death | See All (113) »


THRILLS! DRAMA! HEART-THROBS! (reissue print ad - all caps) See more »


Drama | Family


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Wildnis ruft  »

Box Office


$4,000,000 (estimated)


$5,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


As Jody discovers the fawn, a palmetto leaf moves out of the way - all by itself. See more »


Penny Baxter: [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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

All scenes involving animals in this picture were made under the supervision and with the cooperation of the American Humane Association See more »


Referenced in Spin City: The Deer Hunter (1998) See more »


(1895-7) (uncredited)
Music by Frederick Delius
Selections played in the score
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

It Will Warm Your Heart
29 November 2000 | by (Little Rock, AR) – See all my reviews

This wonderful film is one of a handful that has the power to call me back to my childhood days and wrap me in warm memories of my Mom, Dad and little brother sitting around the television on Saturday night, watching the late show.

From the opening scenes of this beautifully photographed movie I found myself caught-up in the intriguing post Civil War story of a boy and his pet faun and their fantastic adventures on a scruffy Florida Everglades farm. The film stars Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman and Claude Jarman in the lead roles, with some of Hollywood's best character actors in the supporting roles.

Peck gives an Oscar caliber performance as the warmhearted father who does his best to make a better life for his family, with absolutely no help from the elements, which surround them. Jane Wyman brilliantly plays Orry, the hardened mother and wife who is so embittered by past tragedies in her life that she is unable to show any love for her one surviving child for fear of losing him as well. And Claude Jarman plays Jodie, the wistful young boy who is just one summer away from adolescence and all the emotional growing pains that come with it.

This story is laced with excitement and adventure sure to please the kids, but each of the adventures is also a great lesson in life that will stay with them for years to come. The cinematography is spectacular and received a well-deserved Academy Award and the wildlife scenes are incredible as well. Just watching Jodie romp through the woods with his faun is a joyous site to behold. The way Orry finally begins letting herself love her son will bring tears to your eyes. This movie was one of the most emotional experiences of my young life and I believe I am a better person from the lessons learned here.

I highly recommend this film, it is one to be experienced with your entire family.

35 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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