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The Red Pony (1949)

Passed  -  Drama | Family | Western  -  28 March 1949 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 683 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 13 critic

A ranch boy is gifted with a colt, grows to love him but the colt escapes, with tragic results.



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Complete credited cast:
Billy Buck
Shepperd Strudwick ...
Mr. Fred Tiflin
Peter Miles ...
Melinda Byron ...
Jinx Ingals (as Patty King)
Jackie Jackson ...
Don Reynolds ...
Little Brown Jug (as Little Brown Jug)
Nino Tempo ...
Tommy Sheridan ...


In the coast range mountains on the western edge of the Salinas Valley is a ranch where Tom, a lad of about ten, longs for a pony. He lives with his mom, who was born there, her dad, a talkative pioneer who misses the old West, Tom's dad Fred Tiflin, who comes from the city and after years on the ranch doesn't feel at home there, and Billy, their trusted hand, a real cowboy. While Fred has to sort out whether he wants to stay a rancher and come to terms with his son being closer to Billy than to himself, Tom gets a pony and learns directly about responsibility and loss. What lessons can each learn, and are tragedy and hard choices all that life offers? Are laughter and joy anywhere? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Western


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 March 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Steinbeck's The Red Pony  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The 81-day shooting schedule was at the time the longest and costliest for Republic Pictures. See more »


Alice opens the lunch box to find a small snake inside. The snake is clearly hanging out of the box, but in the next angle it is fully inside. See more »

Crazy Credits

and introducing Peter Miles as Tom See more »


Referenced in The Mentalist: The Red Ponies (2010) See more »


Shall We Gather at the River?
Written by Robert Lowry
Played on piano by Myrna Loy
See more »

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User Reviews

Could Have Been a Lot Better
23 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Two of the funniest men I ever saw were Bob and Ray. A comedy team that did some of the cleverest word play ever. An example. Bob would say, "You can see the Kimodo Dragon at the Washington Zoo. Ray would look at him and ask, "And if you wanted to see one of these interesting creatures, where might you and your family go." The delivery was slow and drawling. That's what this movie is like. It's a great story. It's about relationships and pain and isolation. It's about a father who just can't relate to his son. Then there's Billy Buck, played by Robert Mitchum. He speaks like this too. There are these pregnant pauses all over the place. You almost want to say, "Hurry up. We're not getting anywhere." The grandfather drones on about his adventures in the Western movement, driving the father crazy. The little boy has about as much charisma as a stump. I used to assign this story to ninth graders. They really like the book. The movie was so anti-climactic after the reading. They were so disappointed, it detracted from the enjoyment of the book. I'm not saying this is the worst movie ever. It could have been truly better with a little better direction and writing.

6 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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