Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ 1938 Pulitzer prizewinning novel is the heart-warming story of good earth, family ties and the love of the 11-year-old Jody Baxter for the faun which he is compelled to put out of his life as it becomes a yearling.
The Florida scrub country is the locale of the Baxters, and the story focuses on Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman in the fight for their very existence, while raising meagre patches of crops and also their offspring Jody (Claude Jarman Jr). The lad becomes a man, for all his meagre years, in a great love and effort to ward off destruction of his pet yearling, albeit it be at the kindly hands of his parents.
All done in a minor key, the underplaying is sometimes too static but, just as the interest lags, director Clarence Brown injects another highlight. The underlying power is impressive.
1946: Best Color Cinematography, Art Direction, Honorary (Claude Jarman Jr, outstanding child actor).
Nominations: Best Picture, Director, Actor (Gregory Peck), Actress (Jane Wyman), Editing