The Yearling

LORELAI: You chose The Yearling again?

TAYLOR: It is a fine, wholesome motion picture. Moving story, lovely scenes of nature.

The Yearling, 1946 dramatic family film directed by Clarence Brown, based on the 1938 novel of the same name by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. It stars Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman, and was filmed on location in the Ocala National Forest in Florida. The film is about a young boy, played by Claude Jarman Jr, who adopts a troublesome deer, the “yearling” of the title.

The Yearling was praised by critics as a heart-warming family film, and was the #9 film of the year at the box-office. However, high production costs meant that it didn’t actually make a big profit. It won three Academy Awards, including a Juvenile Award for Claude Jarman Jr. A television adaptation was released in 1994.

Note that we later learn in this episode that when Taylor says, “Moving story, lovely scenes of nature”, he is quoting from the description given in the film catalogue.

After Lorelai complains that Taylor has chosen The Yearling for the past three years for Movie Night in the Square, Taylor unexpectedly gives her the job of choosing the movie instead, saying she has never volunteered once to help with this event (which is surprising to learn, since Lorelai loves film, and volunteers for most community festivals).

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