My Friend Flicka (film)

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My Friend Flicka
My Friend Flicka FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed byHarold D. Schuster
Produced byRalph Dietrich
Written byFrancis Edward Faragoh (adaptation)
Lillie Hayward
Based onMy Friend Flicka
1941 novel
by Mary O'Hara
StarringRoddy McDowell
Preston Foster
Rita Johnson
Music byAlfred Newman
CinematographyDewey Wrigley
Edited byRobert Fritch
Distributed byTwentieth Century-Fox
Release date
  • May 26, 1943 (1943-05-26)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1.6 million (US rentals)[1] or $2.4 million[2]

My Friend Flicka is a 1943 coming-of-age Technicolor film about a young boy, played by Roddy McDowall, who is given a young horse to raise. It is based on Mary O'Hara's popular 1941 children's novel. Thunderhead, Son of Flicka, released in March 15, 1945, was the sequel to My Friend Flicka.


Wyoming ranchers Rob (Preston Foster) and Nell McLaughlin (Rita Johnson) somewhat reluctantly decide to give their 10-year-old son, Ken (Roddy McDowall), a chance to raise a horse and learn about responsibility. He chooses a one-year-old filly and names her Flicka, which ranch hand Gus (James Bell) informs him is a Swedish word for "girl."

Rising debts and a "loco" strain have created problems for the McLaughlins. They accept a $500 offer from a neighboring rancher for the young filly's mother, Rocket, but the mare is accidentally killed while she is being loaded into a van.

The situation gets worse when Flicka is badly cut by barbed wire and the wound becomes infected. Ken cares for her best he can, but the infection leads father Rob to conclude that the horse must be put down. A gunshot by his father makes Ken fear the worst, but it turns out he was warding off a mountain lion after being warned by Flicka. The filly's life is spared, and young Ken nurtures her back to health.



Parts of the film were shot in Duck Creek, Aspen Mirror Lake, Rockville Road, Strawberry Valley, Johnson Canyon, Zion National Park, and Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah.[3]:287

Radio adaptation[edit]

A radio adaptation of My Friend Flicka was presented on Lux Radio Theatre June 7, 1943, starring McDowall and Johnson.[4]


  1. ^ "Top Grossers of the Season", Variety, 5 January 1944 p 54
  2. ^ Aubrey Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History Rowman & Littlefield, 2002 p 220
  3. ^ D'Arc, James V. (2010). When Hollywood came to town: a history of moviemaking in Utah (1st ed.). Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith. ISBN 9781423605874.
  4. ^ "Lux Theatre Guest". Harrisburg Telegraph. Harrisburg. June 5, 1943. p. 17. Retrieved December 23, 2015 – via open access

External links[edit]