Thunderhead, Son of Flicka
|Thunderhead, Son of Flicka|
|Directed by||Louis King|
|Produced by||Robert Bassler|
|Written by||Mary O'Hara (novel)
|Music by||Cyril J. Mockridge|
|Cinematography||Charles G. Clarke|
|Edited by||Nick DeMaggio|
|Distributed by||Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation|
Thunderhead, Son of Flicka is a 1945 Technicolor family film directed by Louis King. It was adapted to screen by Dwight Cummins and Dorothy Yost from the novel by Mary O'Hara, and is based on the second book in the series, following Flicka, which was filmed in 1943 (as My Friend Flicka) and remade in 2006.
The first feature film to be photographed entirely on 35mm Color negative film, in this case Technicolor Color motion picture film (section Monopack color film). Earlier color features used black and white negative film photographed behind color filters, or used Monopack only for certain sequences.
Ken McLaughlin's (Roddy McDowall) mare Flicka gives birth to an all-white colt that, unknown to Ken's dad, Rob (Preston Foster), was actually sired by a neighboring rancher's thoroughbred racehorse, Appalachia, rather than Rob's own stallion, Banner. Ken's mother, Nell (Rita Johnson), names the colt Thunderhead after the billowing white clouds she sees overhead. Ken trains Thunderhead as a race horse, but the colt suffers an injury during his first race, ending his racing career.
Meanwhile, the Albino, a wild stallion that has been raiding local ranchers' herds for years, steals Rob McLaughlin's best mares and kills Banner, putting the family near bankruptcy. The Albino is also Thunderhead's grand-sire. Rob, Ken, and the ranch hands search for the mares, but during the night, Thunderhead gets loose and runs off.
Tracking Thunderhead on foot to a secluded valley, Ken discovers the Albino's herd, including his father's horses. The Albino attacks Ken, but Thunderhead fights and kills the Albino, saving Ken's life.
Rob and the others arrive as Thunderhead rounds up the Albino's herd, heading them to the McLaughlin ranch. But once there, Thunderhead is uneasy. Rob tells Ken that Thunderhead is a king now and wants to roam his realm. Ken removes Thunderhead's halter, freeing him.
- Roddy McDowall as Ken McLaughlin
- Preston Foster as Rob McLaughlin
- Rita Johnson as Nelle McLaughlin
- James Bell as Gus
- Patti Hale as Hildy (as Diana Hale)
- Carleton Young as Maj. Harris
- Ralph Sanford as Charlie Sargent
- Al Bridge as Dr. Hicks
- Robert Filmer as Tim
The film was shot on location at various sites, including the following;
- Oregon: Bridal Veil Falls at Oneonta Gorge and the Multnomah County Fairgrounds near Gresham, Oregon
- California: Brent's Crags, Hidden Valley and Hollywood Park Racetrack
- Utah: Zion National Park, Kanab, Bryce Canyon National Park, Red Rock Canyon, Navajo Lake, Glendale Gorge, Cedar City and Cedar Breaks National Monument
- Additional scenes were shot in Duck Creek, Nevada