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The Yearling (1946)

Approved | | Drama, Family | May 1947 (USA)
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)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


M.G.M. presents in Technicolor See more »


Drama | Family


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

May 1947 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El despertar  »

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?


Louis B. Mayer considered Ann Harding for the role of Ma Baxter and had her test in the early '40s. See more »


When Jody is sitting with Flag, you see little buds where he is beginning to get antlers. In the next scene with Flag, as they are going to bed, you can clearly see that the deer has none at all. 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 »


Florida Suite
(1887) (uncredited)
Music by Frederick Delius
Selections played in the score
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

One of the Most Beautiful Films Ever Made
26 May 1999 | by (Hollywood) – See all my reviews

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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