Clint Barkley (MacMurray) first sees Smoky as a runaway, and drives him back to the ranch where he meets the owner, Julie Richards (Anne Baxter). He is given a job on her ranch, but the ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Frank Denton
Esther Dale ...
Mrs. 'Gram' Richards
Jeff Nix
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Jim, the Cook
Willie (as The Singing Troubadour Burl Ives)


Clint Barkley (MacMurray) first sees Smoky as a runaway, and drives him back to the ranch where he meets the owner, Julie Richards (Anne Baxter). He is given a job on her ranch, but the head cowhand is doubtful about Clint and fears that since he refuses to talk about himself, he must have some dreadful secret in his past. Clint and Smoky become close to each other, weathering the hardships of Western life and the suspicions of others together, until one day, Smoky tragically vanishes. Will Clint ever see him again? Written by melissa-bur

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family


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Release Date:

July 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Will James' Smoky  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Slim Pickens. See more »


When Smoky is dragging a wounded Clint, the horse is plainly dragging a dummy, as evidenced by the stiffness of the 'body' and, in one instance, by the dummy's hand getting caught on the stirrup, leaving the crooked arm poking up into the air in an extremely unnatural position. See more »


Willie: Looks like some busted ribs -
[to unconscious Clint]
Willie: does it hurt to breathe?
Julie Richards: Keep quiet, honey.
See more »


Referenced in Boomerang! (1947) See more »

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User Reviews

Never Trust Bruce Cabot
4 June 2012 | by (Ramsey, NJ) – See all my reviews

"Smoky" is quintessential family fare, with no surprises or plot twists; As a reader remarked, "man finds horse, man loses horse, man finds horse". Is it my imagination or are many horse stories similar? "War Horse" and "Black Beauty" had much the same theme as "Smoky".

In this one, Fred MacMurray arrives at a ranch under a cloud of suspicion. His cowboy credentials are impeccable, but some ranch hands have heard stories. All goes well until Bruce Cabot shows up and pleads with Our Hero to get him a job. But it turns out that Cabot is his ne'er-do-well brother, and Fred took the rap for him in another state. Fred has, meanwhile, found and broken a wild horse that is the envy of the local horsemen. Cabot finds the horse 'ornery' and despises it. Naturally, things happen, Fred and the horse are separated, and the horse ends up with - you guessed it, Cabot. From here you can fill in the blanks.

The movie, filmed in and around Utah's Zion National Park, is gorgeous to look at while the movie itself has a very pedestrian feel. No new ground is broken in the story and co-star Anne Baxter has very little to do despite being the manager of the ranch. Burl Ives gets to sing some songs in the bunkhouse. Kids will like this picture more than adults will, and it is a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes.

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