My Friend Flicka Movie Poster Image

My Friend Flicka



Classic horse story picks up in the second half.
  • Review Date: October 7, 2005
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1943
  • Running Time: 89 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence & scariness

Kids might be distressed that, at first, Ken's father wants to shoot Flicka to keep him from suffering.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids will see little that's threatening and nothing inappropriate. Although Ken's authoritarian father wants to shoot Flicka when the horse falls ill, he changes his mind.

What's the story?

On their Wyoming ranch, daydreamer Ken (Roddy McDowall) tends to be forgetful of his chores and battles with his autocratic father. But at the insistence of his mother, Ken's father lets him choose a colt to raise --Flicka. Ken works hard to train Flicka, but after great progress, the horse falls ill from an infected leg. Ken's father insists Flicka must be shot to avoid further suffering. Ken refuses to shoot her, instead attempting to nurse her back to health. When Ken falls ill himself, his father cannot bring himself to shoot Flicka. As Flicka recovers, so does Ken.

Is it any good?


MY FRIEND FLICKA may seem too dated for children who aren't crazy about horses and willing to sit through the slow first half. Ken's touching battle to win his father's approval and save the life of his colt eventually gains momentum. The first half is very slow, with numerous shots of fields, horses, fences, etc. Parents may want to fast forward to when Ken gets Flicka – the action speeds up, and the divergent beliefs of his mother and father intensify. Ken's father is an exacting man who believes in breaking animals and punishing children, while Ken's mother believes that animals, like people, respond to love. In the end, love is what saves Ken, his father, and even Flicka.

British child star Roddy McDowall doesn't sound as if he belongs on a Wyoming ranch, but his portrayal of a boy who learns the importance of love and responsibility rings true. The movie is faithful to Mary O'Hara's book of the same name, at times picking up whole pages of dialogue. Older kids who like the movie may be inspired to read the book.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the genre of horse stories. Do these movies have a formula? For example, do many of them feature a horse who nobody else believes in but his young owner? Does the horse usually prove his worth? Is this type of film meant to make you feel a certain way? How did this movie make you feel?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 26, 1943
DVD release date:March 11, 2003
Cast:Preston Foster, Rita Johnson, Roddy McDowall
Director:Harold D. Schuster
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:89 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of My Friend Flicka was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old October 11, 2009

perfect for any age

i love it will you be my friend.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent of a 3 and 7 year old Written bymretsof April 20, 2011


My son loved this story! He didn't seem to think it was slow to begin. Actually, he enjoyed the scenes of the horses galloping and all. The story tugged at his heartstrings.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old April 18, 2010

Pretty Good Movie! Sweet Story!

Such a sweet story about a boy and his special horse Flicka. I think the new one is better but it is still a lovely movie. It goes on to being No2 Thunderhead, Son of Flicka and No3 Green Grass of Wyoming. I've seen them all and thoroughly enjoyed them (I LOVE all horse movies!!) but they are old and some of the scenes are a bit corny.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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