Watch The Yearling


The Yearling is a film that features the struggles of a post-Civil War farm family and their interactions with one another. The father of the family is Penny, an ex-confederate soldier, his wife Ora, and their lonely young son, Jody. After losing their other children, Ora is cold to Jody, thinking that if she shows him love, he might be taken away like her other children. Jody and Ora do not get along well, though Penny tries to act as a bridge between them. At the beginning, Ora is very aloof.

When Penny and Jody need to kill a doe, Jody asks to keep the young orphaned fawn as a pet. Penny agrees, though Ora is against the idea. Jody raises the fawn, which he lovingly names Flag, but as the animal grows, it becomes a pest on the farm. Tensions rise between Ora and Jody, and as Flag becomes more and more destructive, something must be done.

The film shows a family in a slow decline. Because of Ora’s feelings about loss and grief, she turns her son away. Jody, for his part, desperately needs his mother’s love and affection, but as a young boy is unaware of how to get it. The events caused by the fawn, though troubling, bring the family together in a way that they have never been before. Despite the rather tragic and somber nature of the film, it is essentially an uplifting experience, speaking about the resiliency of the human spirit and how families can recover after trauma.

The Yearling has won a number of awards, including Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Color, and Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration. It was also nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actor in a Leading Role as well as Best Director and Best Picture. The timeless nature of this film ensures that it is still quite popular more than fifty years after it was released.

| 1946 | 2 hr 8 min | 7.3/10
Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr., Chill Wills
MGM Home Entertainment
Clarence Brown

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