The Yearling Overview:

The Yearling (1946) was a Drama - Family Film directed by Clarence Brown and produced by Sidney Franklin.


Based on the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, this is the enduring family story of a boy (Jarman) who grows up as he says good-bye to his animal friend. Peck and Wyman barely scratch out a living from their small Florida farm. Their only surviving child, Jarman, has a lonely life and wishes he had a pet. Given their circumstances, that's out of the question, until Peck orphans a fawn. The boy and deer grow closer until the deer starts eating the family's hard-won crops and a painful decision is made. Originally a project for Spencer Tracy to be directed by Victor Fleming, MGM revived the production and made it a great success. Remade for TV in 1994.

(Source: available at Amazon AMC Classic Movie Companion).


Academy Awards 1946 --- Ceremony Number 19 (source: AMPAS)

Best ActorGregory PeckNominated
Best ActressJane WymanNominated
Best Art DirectionArt Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse; Interior Decoration: Edwin B. WillisWon
Best CinematographyCharles Rosher, Leonard Smith, Arthur ArlingWon
Best DirectorClarence BrownNominated
Best Film EditingHarold KressNominated
Best PictureMetro-Goldwyn-MayerNominated

BlogHub Articles:

The Yearling (1946): A Boy and His Deer

By 4 Star Film Fan on Jan 19, 2021 From 4 Star Films

“When I was a child I spake like a child…” ~ 1 Corinthians 13 Like the previous year’s Valley of Decision, The Yearling opens with an establishing shot paired with Gregory Peck’s voice, this time in a folksier register. Aside from being unoriginal, one can hardly condem... Read full article

Exclusive Interview with Claude Jarman Jr. Part One: The Yearling and Clarence Brown

By Annmarie Gatti on Dec 18, 2019 From Classic Movie Hub Blog

Claude Jarman Jr. Child Star of The Yearling Talks about The Yearling, Director Clarence Brown and More CMH is thrilled to say that we’re kicking off a series of exclusive video interviews and articles with Claude Jarman Jr. today. Claude made his feature film debut starring as ‘Jody... Read full article

The Yearling

By Amanda Garrett on May 28, 2016 From Old Hollywood Films

Today, I'm reviewing the classic coming of age film, The Yearling (1946), about a young boy (Claude Jarman, Jr.) and his pet fawn. This article is part of The Animals in Film Blogathon hosted by In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. The Yearling (1946) is one of the best old Hollywood fil... Read full article

The Yearling (1946)

By Beatrice on Jan 24, 2015 From Flickers in Time

The Yearling Directed by Clarence Brown Written by Paul Osborn from the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 1946/USA Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer First viewing/Amazon Instant I spent most of the movie thinking it?was way too folksy for me. I ended up crying like a baby by the end anyway. Eleven-year-old Jod... Read full article

The Yearling

By Alyson on Mar 13, 2011 From The Best Picture Project

The iconic image of this film is the little blond haired boy holding the real-life embodiment of baby Bambi. ?This makes you think that the whole film will be centered around this tiny baby deer and there will be plenty of moments that could replace a trip to the petting zoo. ?Spoiler Alert: If you ... Read full article

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Quotes from

Penny Baxter: [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 gentle. The birds come to him, and the varmints moved free about him, and like as not he could of takened a she wild-cat right in his pore twisted hands. Now you've done seed fit to take him where bein' crookedy in mind or limb don't matter. But Lord, it pleasures us to think now you've done straightened out them legs and that pore bent back and them hands. It pleasures us to think on him, movin' around as easy as any one. And Lord, give him a few red-birds and maybe a squirrel and a 'coon and a 'possum to keep him company, like he had here. All of us is somehow lonesome, and we know he'll not be lonesome, do he have them little wild things around him, if it ain't askin' too much to put a few varmints in Heaven. Thy will be done. Amen.

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Facts about

"The Yearling" author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' own Cross Creek homestead - where she had written the novel - was used for filming some of the location scenes in the movie.
"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 6, 1947 with Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman and Claude Jarman Jr. reprising their film roles.
MGM had actually begun filming "The Yearling" in 1941 with Spencer Tracy, Anne Revere, and Atlanta native Gene Eckman (who never appeared in another film) in the starring roles, Roddy McDowall as Fodderwing, and Victor Fleming directing, but the production ran into innumerable problems, including Eckman growing too quickly during filming, his thick local accent (which conflicted with Tracy's vocal quality), swarms of mosquitoes, and conflicts between Fleming and producer Sidney Franklin. After King Vidor agreed to take over directing but then dropped out, the project was cancelled - at a loss of $500,000 - when the United States entered World War II.
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Best Cinematography Oscar 1946

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Also directed by Clarence Brown

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