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Old Yeller (1957)

Approved | | Adventure, Drama, Family | 22 November 1958 (Italy)
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A teenage boy grows to love a stray yellow dog while helping his mother and younger brother run their Texas homestead while their father is away on a cattle drive. First thought to be good-for-nothing mutt, Old Yeller is soon beloved by all.

Director:

Robert Stevenson

Writers:

Fred Gipson (screenplay), William Tunberg (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Dorothy McGuire ... Katie Coates
Fess Parker ... Jim Coates
Jeff York ... Bud Searcy
Chuck Connors ... Burn Sanderson
Beverly Washburn ... Lisbeth Searcy
Tommy Kirk ... Travis Coates
Kevin Corcoran ... Arliss Coates
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Storyline

Young Travis Coates is left to take care of the family ranch with his mother and younger brother while his father goes off on a cattle drive in the 1860's. When a yellow mongrel comes for an uninvited stay with the family, Travis reluctantly adopts the dog. After a series of scrapes involving raccoons, snakes, bears, wild hogs and wolves, Travis grows to love and respect Old Yeller, who comes to have a profound effect on the boy's life. Written by David Mullich <dmullich@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

WALT DISNEY'S Newest, Most Exciting Adventure Feature! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 November 1958 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Sein Freund Jello See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$21,909,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the movie is based in Texas, it was filmed in California. See more »

Goofs

The rabid wolf's bodily structure and appearance is incorrect; he has large, pointy ears, a tall head, and is large-sized and dark-colored. All wolves (including loafer wolves) have small, round ears, wide heads, and real loafer wolves were medium-sized and light-colored. Some of his socially interacting visual features and expressive characteristics are also incorrect; his canine teeth are covered, his nose is lengthened, his forehead is stretched, his neck is extended, and in various screenshots, his hair is sleeked. When aggressive, wolves' canines are always bared, their noses are always shortened, their foreheads are always contracted, their necks are always arched and their hair is always bristled (the wolf was actually played by a male German Shepherd, who was made to look like a wolf, and both Spike (Old Yeller) and the dog playing the wolf were muzzled and trained to play-fight for the sequence.) See more »

Quotes

Katie Coates: Now Arliss, you ride back here with Yeller.
Arliss Coates: On a count of he's a sicker Injun than me?
Katie Coates: Yes.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the 1991 VHS release, part of the "Walt Disney's Studio Film Collection" series, the theme song reprise at the end, about "Young Yeller" is re-recorded with a different vocalist, though Jerome Courtland's singing of the main song in the beginning remains the same. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Family Guy: He's Too Sexy for His Fat (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Yeller
Lyrics by Hazel George (as Gil George)
Music by Oliver Wallace
Sung by Jerome Courtland
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Best Doggone Dog Anywhere
8 January 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

One of Walt Disney's most enduring films in popularity will continue to be Old Yeller. There's something in the saga of the Coates family and that yellow mutt that touches the kid in all of us.

Fess Parker, wife Dorothy McGuire, and sons Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcoran are the Coates family scratching out a living on a small ranch on the Texas frontier. Dad has to drive their herd to market in Kansas and he leaves the other three behind. Parker though he's second billed in the cast has barely fifteen minutes of screen time in the film. He leaves before the main action starts and returns really as anti-climax. Nevertheless he was a big name back in 1957, coming fresh off his triumph as Disney's Davy Crockett. Didn't hurt him at all to come from Texas for this part.

So McGuire is left to cope with the kids, the farm, and a newly found stray yellow dog that both the boys take to. His coloring makes his name a natural and he proves quite a useful dog, earning more than his keep on the ranch.

Sad to say though that Old Yeller provides the saddest moment in any Disney film since Bambi's mother was shot by the hunters. I really can't say too much more, but the Coates boys prove to be made of stern stuff and Dad provides some sound country wisdom as he gets back from his cattle drive.

Because the setting is out in the wilds there are few human speaking parts. All the players here are well cast, but the one who's the best by far is Jeff York as the Coates neighbor Mr. Searcy. York appeared in a whole bunch Disney features and usually stole scenes in every one of them. York's a guy who's full of wisdom in his own right, he'll dispense with advice at the drop of a hat, but when there's work to be done is usually elsewhere. McGuire does remark it's no accident he's not on the cattle drive. When she needs help on the ranch, York delegates his daughter Beverly Washburn to stay behind. She's a sweet kid and a good worker and Tommy Kirk doesn't mind having her around at all.

Chuck Connors is also in this as a visiting trail boss and I wouldn't be surprised if his appearance here in this family feature led to his family television series, The Rifleman.

Fifty years after it was released Old Yeller is still good entertainment and will be making young folks dream about that idyllic boyhood the Coates kids have on those Texas plains.


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