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The Yearling (1994)

TV Movie  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family  -  24 April 1994 (USA)
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In 1870s Florida, a rural family struggles to survive. A lonely twelve-year-old son, Jody (Wil Horneff), the lone surviving child, against his mother's better judgment eventually persuades ... See full summary »



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Title: The Yearling (TV Movie 1994)

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Complete credited cast:
Jarred Blancard ...
Lem Forrester
Nancy Moore Atchison ...
Mary Nell Santacroce ...
Ma Forrester
Bart Hansard ...
Richard Hamilton ...
Pa Forrester
Doc Wilson
Susan F. Allen ...
Kerry Wallum ...


In 1870s Florida, a rural family struggles to survive. A lonely twelve-year-old son, Jody (Wil Horneff), the lone surviving child, against his mother's better judgment eventually persuades his parents to allow him a pet fawn, which Jody grows to love deeply. Tragic conflict arises when the fawn begins eating the family's food crops. Written by JH

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Release Date:

24 April 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az őzgida  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ezra "Penny" Baxter: That's why I hate a bear. You look right in their face, and they got no remorse.
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Version of The Yearling (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

An excellent TV remake of classic film
23 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I had never seen "The Yearling" (any version of it) until this summer (2005). After having read about the original 1947 movie - and knowing the music from the failed 1960's Broadway version (same title) - I finally bought the DVD of the 1947 movie, and popped it into the DVD player, and watched.

I found the 1947 movie incredibly moving - surprisingly so, actually... It was a carefully crafted work of art - one that kept your eyes moist at low levels for long periods of time, so that it wasn't about a big, tear-jerker ending, as much as it was the cumulative effect of having been on the brink of a good cry for such a long period of time. (I hope that makes sense to someone out there...)

I liked the 1947 film so much, that I decided to take a chance on this one. When this video arrived (not available on DVD), I was actually leery of putting it into the VCR - afraid that a TV version would ruin the story for me, forever...

I'm happy to report this TV movie can stand on its own. In no way does it ever come off as a made-for-TV movie. The production values are very impressive. The cinematography is beautiful - nothing short of beautiful. Ron hardy did a remarkable job of directing this effort - staying true to characters, and getting surprisingly effective performances out of this TV-movie cast. And the performances are - like the camera work - nothing short of beautiful.

I was both pleased - and relieved - by two performances, right off. Peter Strauss, as the father, and Wil Horneff, as the boy Jody. Gregory Peck (an actor I have always liked) played the father in the 1947 version - and came close to ruining the film for me, in several key scenes. His acting in that film was very..."stilted" - not real... Peter Strauss, on the other hand, "lived" his part on camera, right before your eyes. If he didn't say one word in this movie, he still would've conveyed all the emotion of that role. (I'd forgotten how much I loved watching his face on screen.) He is remarkable.

Wil Horneff, as Jody, also was such a welcomed relief. It would've been so easy for a TV-movie to have made this part "cute" or "saccharine" - not so, here. The young Mr. Horneff was directed to be "honest" - and it is such a joy to watch him. He's a little older than Claude Jarman, who played it in the 1947 movie - or at least appears so. Jarman seemed still a boy (had his voice even changed yet?), and Horneff is on the brink of becoming a young man (his voice is in the "deepening stages" at this point in his life). Both boys were wonderful in their interpretations - both interpretations valid. Claude Jarman was a little more childlike, which some might prefer. Wil Horneff is a little more "everyday kid" - which others might prefer. Regardless, both are wonderful child actors.

Jean Smart, as the mother, is worth getting the movie for - just to watch her. Her role is much different than the way it was written for Jane Wyman. Ms. Smart was given a much meatier role - the original left much to the imagination, as to why she's like she is, or why does her husband still love her, etc. This new version fleshes it out more for the audience. You feel her pain. You feel her anger. You feel her frustration. To watch Jean Smart's face as she goes through these emotions - sometimes all within a few minutes! - is heartbreaking. She obviously understands every nuance in the mother's characterization - and delivers like you won't believe.

As a matter of fact, Peter Strauss, Jean Smart and Wil Horneff ALL deliver powerful, powerful performances.

Is the movie without fault or flaws? No.

I was surprised - and somewhat disappointed - in how they portrayed Fodder- Wing. He's practically nonexistent in this movie. Not my favorite character in the original, but I would've liked to see how a re-make would've filmed the same scenes. In short, they basically didn't film the same scenes - they cut his part down to about 5 lines of dialog. I also liked the ending better in the 1947 movie, where Jody goes to sleep and dreams of his yearling. That, I miss in this version.

It was interesting to see how scenes/dialog varied from the 1947 version to the 1994 TV version. I never read the book, so I don't know if one version is more faithful to the book or not. It didn't bother me so much - because I don't know the book - but I suppose things like this might bother someone else.

So, do I recommend this? By all means. It's a good tug-at-your-heart movie, beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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