Old Yeller (1957)
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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
as Katie Coates
as Travis Coates
as Arliss Coates
as Jim Coates
as Bud Searcy
as Lisbeth Searcy
as Burn Sanderson
as Old Yeller
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Critic Reviews for Old Yeller
It comes from Disney's thoroughly proved mother lode: movies for the kids that adults will stay to enjoy themselves.
Everyone sheds tears for this family drama
Every bit the warm, comfortable, and tragically bittersweet classic that had you sobbing like a infant the first time you saw it.
Classic Disney tearjerker still grabs.
What makes Old Yeller more than run-of-the-mill Disney is not only the gut-wrenching climax, but also the remarkably well-done uplift of the denouement.
Of all the boy-and-his-dog movies Hollywood's ever made, "Old Yeller" remains among the best.
Director Robert Stevenson understands how lightweight the first part is and never tries to make it seem more important that it is. His saves the energy and emphasis for the last act.
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.More
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.More
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