The Yearling (1946)
Directed by Clarence Brown
In 1928, Charles Rawlings and his young wife, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, bought a large orange orchard in rural north Florida, where they planned to settle among the locals. In something of an unusual turn of events, the man disliked the backwoods place, the dank sweat of the land that could almost choke the very trees of their air, the hillbilly neighbors and their rough and rugged stories, but the woman loved it, and when, in 1933, this hard-bitten woman determined to stay where she was, he left her behind and they divorced. She had begun, however, to acquire a national reputation for her stories about the people who lived there, and in 1938 she won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Yearling, about a boy who adopts a fawn as a pet.
As soon as I say that, I’m afraid you will think of the novel, and the 1946 film that is doggedly faithful to it in letter and in spirit, as a heartwarming story of the love between a child and an animal, rather like a swampland version of Las…
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