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
MGM's most successful film of 1946. However, because it cost nearly $4 million (a large sum at the time), its profit margin was only $451,000. See more »
In the last scene as Jane Wyman welcomes her son back home, the shadow of the boom microphone is clearly visible on her dress as she comes in through the door. 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 »
This is one of the great lost films. I run into ridicule every time I tell people it's one of my favourite films, but what a great film it is. It's got more treacle than Lyles, very sentimental and heart rendering, but I love it for that. It's also got one of the movie worlds most immortal lines when Ma Forester says of her recently deceased physically handicapped son "I lost ma boy!...ma poor crookedly boy". What a movie, takes me back every time. The essence of the main characters is perfectly portrayed by the main leads of Gregory Peck and Jayne Wyman, but Claude Jarman Jnr as Jody has a special place in my childhood. He plays the head-strong boy to perfection, with great depth and warmth. The Yearling will always live on.
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