My Friend Flicka (1943)

Directed by Harold D. Schuster
Written by Francis Edward Faragoh and Lillie Hayward from a novel by Mary O’Hara
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
First viewing/Netflix rental

“In riding a horse, we borrow freedom” ― Helen Thompson

This is an excellent family film about a boy’s love for his horse.

Ken McCauley (Roddy McDowall) is the kind of well-meaning but dreamy kid who never seems to do anything right.  His rancher father (Preston Foster) is disgusted and wants to punish him.  But Ken’s mother convinces him that it would be better to give him the colt he has been begging for non-stop.

To his father’s dismay, the colt of Ken’s dreams is the filly of the mating of a prized stallion and a “loco” unbreakable mare.  Ken calls the horse Flicka and begins to learn responsibility by nursing her wounds after she runs into barbed wire in a panic.  The boy and his animal develop a deep bond.

MyFriendFlicka-1024x576It’s a simple story but put together quite well.  I really believed in the family dynamic and, of course, McDowall is superb.  The ending kind of sneaks up on you.  I had expected there to be more in the way of horse-breaking and riding but no.  Maybe that would have been superfluous as this is really the story of the boy’s own growth.


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