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Ken McLaughlin struggles to please his family in any way. He comes back from boarding school boasting poor grades and facing going through the fifth grade again, much to his fathers dismay. Ken's mother, Nell, manages to persuade his father Rob to let him choose a colt from the herd for himself. He instead chooses a sorrel chestnut filly, who becomes injured soon after. Can Ken nurse the filly back to full health? Written by
From some of the comments about the first version of My Friend Flicka, you'd think the movie was 89 minutes of pure schmaltz, but I enjoyed it. It had a nice, simple feel to it and you can just see how comforting this movie might have been to the nerve-jangled America of 1943.
If you can get past the occasional side trip into the corn field, there's a lot of straightforward emotion and values in MFF. Also, notice how good the color looks, how crisp the images are, and check out some very mobile camera work out on the north forty. Flicka stands out because most of the exteriors are shot in outdoors instead of in a large sound stage. It sounds silly, but it makes the movie work.
Probably the only faults in the movie are in the star Roddy McDowell and his little friend, Patti Hale. Hale is so cutesy in her attempt to do a Shirley Temple impression through the movie that you want her shipped out to whatever passed for kindergarten back then. McDowell holds his own on screen with the older professionals, but it's that suppressed accent and his wimpiness that put the greatest strain on the movie. I never believed him; I kept thinking that this guy would grow up to play one effeminate killer after another on the NBC Mystery Movie.
But that's just me.
I'm recommending My Friend Flicka for you and your family. 89 minutes of pleasant schmaltz beats a Cheaper by the Dozen or a Happy Feet any day.
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