Old Yeller (1957) - Rotten Tomatoes

Old Yeller (1957)

Old Yeller (1957)

Old Yeller




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Old Yeller Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Based on the novel by Fred Gipson, Old Yeller is set in Texas in 1869. While his father is away on a cattle drive, 15-year-old Travis Coates (Tommy Kirk) takes over management of the family farm. Adopting a "strictly business" policy, Travis is irritated when younger brother, Arliss (Kevin Corcoran), adopts a frisky stray dog. But soon Travis is as fond of the dog as everyone else in the family; moreover, "Old Yeller" is an excellent watchdog. But while fighting off a mad wolf, Yeller is infected with rabies. Though Yeller seems unaffected at first, he eventually behaves so viciously that the disheartened Travis has no choice but to shoot the dog. A heart-to-heart talk between Travis and his returning father (Fess Parker), coupled with the adoption of a new pup, paves the way to an emotional but reasonably happy ending. Earning eight million dolalrs domestically on its first release, Old Yeller convinced Walt Disney to devote more and more time to live-action films and less time to animation -- which at the time was a sagacious business move. In 1963, Disney released a lesser sequel to Old Yeller titled Savage Sam.more
Rating: G
Genre: Western, Drama, Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Fred Gipson, William Tunberg
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 7, 2002
Buena Vista Pictures


Dorothy McGuire
as Katie Coates
Tommy Kirk
as Travis Coates
Kevin Corcoran
as Arliss Coates
Fess Parker
as Jim Coates
Jeff York
as Bud Searcy
Beverly Washburn
as Lisbeth Searcy
Chuck Connors
as Burn Sanderson
as Old Yeller
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Old Yeller

Critic Reviews for Old Yeller

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (3)

It comes from Disney's thoroughly proved mother lode: movies for the kids that adults will stay to enjoy themselves.

Full Review… | March 9, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Sentimental, yes, but also sturdy as a hickory stick.

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 26, 2009
Top Critic

Tearjerker is one of the best early Disney dramas.

Full Review… | December 26, 2010
Common Sense Media

Disney Studios' first and best attempt at a boy-and-his-dog film...

Full Review… | March 9, 2009
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Everyone sheds tears for this family drama

March 3, 2007
Old School Reviews

Audience Reviews for Old Yeller

The entire time I was watching this Disney classic, I was thinking that it could never be remade for a modern audience without PETA taking serious issue. Throughout this film a yellow dog named Old Yeller hangs around with a post-Civil War frontier family. A mother (who seems to have no control over her children), and two young boys battle wildlife constantly. By battling, I of course mean that the children often claim baby animals as their own and are surprised when their full-grown mothers chase after them. The film doesn't teach children to treat animals well. The children in this movie ride the dog, make it herd wild hogs, and let it fight way bigger animals alone. Seriously, there is no way to remake this film unless the entire story is changed. The ending has been made infamous, as it's a heartbreaker for young children. It's not as bad as it could have been, since the next scene has the father telling his son to move on. If you're looking for a good family film, watch almost any other Disney film for best results.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

It was all around a good film.

erika bruhns

Super Reviewer


A classic movie that teaches everyone the danger of stray dogs and the deadliness of rabies. It's fearless at displaying animal death and for that it is worthy of praise, but too many people love it for the dog story. I think it's weak in that area, where it excels in is depression and two neglected children who are forced to replace their father.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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