Old Yeller (1957) Poster



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  • While father Jim (Fess Parker) is away from their Texas homestead on a cattle drive, a stray, yellow dog adopts the Coates family—mother Katie (Dorothy McGuire) and sons Travis (Tommy Kirk) and Arliss (Kevin Corcoran). At first, the old yeller dog is a nuisance, breaking down fences and stealing their middlin' meat, but when Old Yeller saves Arliss from a mother bear and chases the raccoons from the cornfield, he readily becomes one of the family, until tragedy strikes. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Old Yeller is a 1956 novel by American author Fred Gibson [1908-1973]. It was adapted for the screen by screenwriter William Tunberg. A sequel, Savage Sam (1963), was released in 1963. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • When Travis () first laid eyes on the dog, he called him an "old yeller" dog, the "yeller" referring to his yellow color. The name stuck. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • In the novel, Old Yeller is a Black Mouth Cur. Spike, the dog who played Old Yeller in the movie, was purchased as a pup from the Van Nuys Animal Shelter in Van Nuys, California by trainers Frank and Rudd Weatherwax. At the time of his purchase, Spike's ancestry was unknown. In the commentary on the two-disc Old Yeller DVD, it is revealed by a Weatherwax relative that Spike was a 170+ pound Labrador Retriever/Mastiff cross. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Any meat that has been preserved by smoking, salting, drying or curing, such as salt pork, ham, bacon, corned beef etc. can be referred to as "middling meat". "Middling" refers to it being of middle size or grade, not the choicest pieces of meat but not the crudest either. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • "Hydrophobie" (hydrophobia) is another term for rabies. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • He is referring to The American Civil War which lasted from 1861-1865. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Almost a month passes, and Yeller doesn't show any signs of rabies. Katie is contemplating letting Yeller out of the corn crib when, one evening, Travis takes him some middling meat and Yeller growls at him. Arliss sneaks out of the house and tries to set Yeller free, but Yeller's snarls and growls bring Katie, Lisbeth (Beverly Washburn), and Travis running. Katie slams shut the door containing Yeller in the corn crib and fetches the rifle. With tears running down his face, Travis agrees to do the shooting because "Yeller is my dog." The next day, Jim returns from the cattle drive to find Travis and Lisbeth burying Yeller. Katie tells Jim about Yeller, and he goes out to talk with Travis man-to-man, advising Travis to look for something good to replace the bad memories. They go back to the house for supper to find Yeller's puppy stealing a piece of middling meat. Travis picks up the pup and decides that it's time he start to learn "if he's big enough to act like Old Yeller". In the final scene, the Old Yeller theme begins to play, and Travis and Arliss can be seen romping the hills with Yeller's pup, now a bit older and looking a lot like Old Yeller. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • No name was given in the movie. However, the sequel to Old Yeller is titled Savage Sam, it's likely that the pup is named Sam. Edit (Coming Soon)

  • Old Yeller is one of those movies that is considered a classic, a movie that no other movie can equal. However, the sequel, Savage Sam reunites Travis and Arliss with Yeller's son Sam. Old Yeller shares many similarities with the 1946 movie The Yearling (1946), such as the setting and the story of a young boy who becomes fond of an animal. Another movie that seems to come close to the mood of Old Yeller, in the opinion of those who have seen both, is Marley & Me (2008) (2008). Edit (Coming Soon)


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