03/26/2015  
Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language on DVD & Blu-ray Apr 14The Man with the Iron Fists 2 Unrated on DVD & Digital HD Apr 14Kidnapping Mr. Heineken on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 14CPO Sharkey: The Complete First Season on DVD May 19Roadside on DVD & Digital Download Apr 14Home Sweet Hell on Digital HD, Blu-ray & DVD Apr 7American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 28

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Jean-Luc Godard's Goodbye to Language on DVD & Blu-ray ...
Paul McCartney, Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith, Me...
'Dancing With the Stars' Week 2 Results: Did the Right ...
The Man with the Iron Fists 2 Unrated on DVD & Digital ...
The Walking Dead's Wild Fist Fight: Has Rick Gone A Lit...
Kidnapping Mr. Heineken on Blu-ray & DVD Apr 14...
'Glee' signs off with a perfect, teary tribute to Cory ...
CPO Sharkey: The Complete First Season on DVD May 19...
Roadside on DVD & Digital Download Apr 14...
Joseph Gordon-Levitt to star in live-action 'Fraggle Ro...



Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Warner Home Video presents
The Yearling (1946)

"How you think we can spare rations for some critter when it's all we can do as keep our own bellies full?"
- Ma (Jane Wyman)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: November 13, 2002

Stars: Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman, Jr.
Other Stars: Clem Bevins, Margaret Wycherly, Forrest Tucker
Director: Clarence Brown

Manufacturer: WAMO
MPAA Rating: G for (some intense scenes)
Run Time: 02h:07m:54s
Release Date: September 03, 2002
UPC: 012569520622
Genre: family


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A AA-B C-

DVD Review

There's no reason The Yearling should work as well as it does. It's full of all the ingredients needed to make a manipulative, weepy, and melodramatic family film—the characters are all plain, uneducated-but-wise country folk; there's an oversensitive boy and his hard-edged mother; a father who wants to shield his son from the harsh realities of life; and a cute little woodland creature, the medium by which many life lessons will be transmitted. But where Old Yeller was content with being a moving but inconsequential ode to the bond between boy and dog, The Yearling aims higher. The boy's time with the title animal offers not just a simple lesson of friendship, but an understanding of the harsh realities of the world—the vast differences between boyhood and manhood.

The young boy is Jody (Claude Jarman, Jr.). He lives in the marshy wilds of the Florida swamplands with his father Penny (Gregory Peck) and Ma (Jane Wyman). Penny battles with the land, determined to eke out a living for his family even as his health is being destroyed. Ma is emotionally despondent, her spirit broken by the loss of several children in childbirth. She treats Jody harshly, trying to force him to grow up quickly (though Jody believes that, at 10, he's "way past the age of dyin'."). Jody, meanwhile, is oblivious, trapped in the magical, invincible mindset of youth. The family faces off against their antagonistic neighbors, the Forresters, and deal with animal attacks—a bear stalking local farm animals, a snake that bites Penny, but it's all an adventure for Jody. When he finds an orphaned fawn in the woods (its mother killed by that same bear), he begs his parents to let him keep it, and his father agrees, over objections from his mother. But the animal is wild, and its behavior destructive—clearly, it can't stay with the family.

Jody's relationship with the fawn (a "yearling," or an animal that's just a year old) forms the core of the film. Director Clarence Brown, a veteran director from the days of silent film, is able to coax a marvelously genuine performance from the boy. His big emotional outbursts don't feel rehearsed, even by today's standards, and that's something, considering the retrospectively goofy acting in some films from the 1940s. Jody is a sensitive kid; rarely does he shy away from showing his emotions or worry about "being a man" (in fact, his father encourages him, indulging his youthful fantasies in allowing him to keep the yearling). Peck is wonderful as well, and he, too, is remarkably vulnerable as a heroic father figure, his health damaged by something as innocuous as a hernia. Jane Wyman's Ma is likewise unique, taking on the man's role in raising her boy, eager for him to grow up and grow strong, even if it means losing his innocence.

Like many films about hardworking frontier folk, The Yearling idolizes the idyllic, connected-to-nature lifestyle, but Brown also is clear to show their poverty, their ramshackle house and meager food supply. Brown is also quite adept at showing off the gorgeous natural surroundings, taking full advantage of his Technicolor camera. The scenes of the harsh side of the family's life do well to undercut the film's weepy sentimentality. We know what's at stake for Jody in losing the animal, and in growing up too fast—what he has to face—even as Brown pretties it up with rich colors and frequent shots of the area's natural beauty.

Rating for Style: A
Rating for Substance: A

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: For the most part, this transfer retains its original Technicolor brilliance. Colors are rich and lush, and blacks are nice and solid. Fine detail is fairly good, with softness typical of many films of the era. Grain is apparent, but always appears quite natural and film like. I noted no artifacts or aliasing. In fact, the only fault I could find was in a few scenes in which color balance looked off, resulting in unnatural fleshtones.

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
MonoEnglish, French, Spanishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Audio is offered in the original mono, and it sounds quite nice. Dialogue is always clear, and sounds quite natural, though Jody's higher-pitched tones sometimes sound a bit harsh and rough. The score features decent fidelity, and sound effects are reproduced nicely, creating spatial presence even within the confines of a mono mix. Background hiss is unobtrusive, but audible at times.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu with music
Scene Access with 33 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
2 Other Trailer(s) featuring The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Production Notes
Packaging: Snapper
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Tom and Jerry cartoon, The Cat Concerto
Extras Review: Now here's something I'd like to see more of on DVD. Though it's not specifically related to the film, Warner has included the 1946 Oscar® winner for best animated short subject, the Tom and Jerry cartoon The Cat Concerto. If you're a fan of the duo at all you'll probably recognize it—it's the one when Tom is playing a piano concert for an audience, to the great annoyance of Jerry, who lives inside the piano. Much animal abuse ensues.

The back of the box promises an "interactive adventure" with Jody's World, but it's just a few pages of bland production notes about how many boys auditioned for the role and how many costumes were created for the movie. Separate pages list awards won and the cast (no filmographies or bios, though). Finally, there's a trailer for the feature and spots for The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

The Yearling is a near-perfect family film, and a classic on par with Old Yeller. Warner's DVD is well worth picking up for the gorgeous Technicolor transfer alone.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

drama, music, 2015 lollapalooza, paul mccartney, florence and the machine, sam smith, metallica, television, dancing with the stars, charlotte mckinney, keo motsepe, redfoo, rumer willis, valchmerkovskiy, action, the walking dead, noah, aiden, deanna, father gabriel, rick, carol, crime, cory monteith, lea michele, jonathan groff, chris colfer, darren criss, matthew morrison, jane lynch, comedy, mystery, movie, fraggle rock, joseph gordon levitt, dark knight rises, jim henson, scifi fantasy, shailene woodley, theo james, ansel elgort, the divergent series, documentary, sxsw, furious 7, paul walker, universal, rand paul, austin tx, martine rothblatt, sirius xm radio, celebrity, lena dunham, kathy griffin, fashion police, girls, joan rivers, howard stern, kelly clarkson, piece by piece, stronger, dark sky paradise, american idol, free state of jones, matther mcconaughey, newt knight, gugu mbatha raw, march 2016, blurred lines, pharrell williams, robin thicke, marvin gaye, nona gaye, ghostbusters reboot, dan aykroyd, kristen wiig, melissa mccarthy, channing tatum, sci-fi, chappie, neill blomkamp, district 9, sigourney weaver, hugh jackman, sharito copley, dev patel, internet, netflix, documentaries, leonardo dicaprio, virunga, gorillas, jadotville, jamie dornan, horror, kids, kelly osbourne, giuliana rancic, zendaya, dreadlocks

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact
Microsoft Store