Thunderhead, Son of Flicka

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Thunderhead, Son of Flicka
Thunderhead, Son of Flicka FilmPoster.jpeg
DVD cover
Directed by Louis King
Screenplay byDwight Cummins
Dorothy Yost
Based onThunderhead
1943 novel
by Mary O'Hara
Produced by Robert Bassler
Starring Roddy McDowall
Preston Foster
Rita Johnson
Cinematography Charles G. Clarke
Edited byNick DeMaggio
Music by Cyril J. Mockridge
Color process Technicolor
20th Century Fox
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 15, 1945 (1945-03-15)
Running time
78 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,250,000 [1]

Thunderhead, Son of Flicka is a 1945 American Western film directed by Louis King and starring Roddy McDowall, Preston Foster, and Rita Johnson. It is a sequel to the 1943 film My Friend Flicka . The film was adapted to screen by Dwight Cummins and Dorothy Yost from Mary O'Hara's novel, Thunderhead (1943), second in a trilogy with My Friend Flicka (1941) and Green Grass of Wyoming (1946).



Ken McLaughlin's mustang mare Flicka gives birth to an all-white colt that, unknown to Ken's dad, Rob, was actually sired by a neighboring rancher's thoroughbred racehorse, Appalachia, rather than Rob's own stallion, Banner. The colt, nicknamed "Goblin", proves to be difficult, but Ken trains him to race. Ken's mother, Nell, officially names the colt Thunderhead after the billowing white clouds she sees overhead. Thunderhead is entered into his first race with Ken as the jockey, but he suffers an injury, ending his racing career.

Meanwhile, the Albino, a wild mustang stallion that has been raiding local ranchers' herds for years, steals Rob'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.


Filming and production

The film was shot on location at various sites, including the following: [2]

This was the first "Color by Technicolor" feature film to be photographed entirely on 35mm color film, in this case Technicolor (Monopack) motion picture film. Earlier Technicolor features used black and white negative film photographed behind color filters, or used Monopack only for certain sequences. [3]


The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 22, 2005. [4] [5]

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  1. Aubrey Solomon (1988). Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 220. ISBN   0810842440.
  2. "Notes: Thunderhead, Son of Flicka".
  3. Trivia IMDb. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  4. "Thunderhead: Son Of Flicka (1945) On DVD". Loving the Classics. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  5. "Thunderhead: Son of Flicka DVD". Blu-ray. Retrieved August 19, 2019.