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The Red Pony (1949)

Passed | | Drama, Family, Western | 28 March 1949 (USA)
A ranch boy is gifted with a colt, grows to love him but the colt escapes, with tragic results.



(by), (screen play)


Complete credited cast:
Mr. Fred Tiflin
Peter Miles ...
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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


John Steinbeck's great American story !


Drama | Family | Western


Passed | See all certifications »




Release Date:

28 March 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Steinbeck's The Red Pony  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In one of the school scenes, the children say the Pledge of Allegiance with their right arms extended, pointed toward the flag. This was the Bellamy Salute suggested by Francis Bellamy, who wrote the original version of the Pledge. Due to its similarity to the Nazi and Fascist salute, President Franklin D. Roosevelt changed the position to hand-over-the-heart. This was later codified into law in 1942. 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 »


Version of The Red Pony (1973) See more »


Shall We Gather at the River?
(1864) (uncredited)
Written by Robert Lowry
Played on piano by Myrna Loy
See more »

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User Reviews

Tony Gaudio Goes Out in Style
21 July 2009 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

Young dreamer Peter Miles (as Tom Tiflin) receives "The Red Pony" as a gift from father Shepperd Strudwick (as Fred Tiflin). But, the boy receives help in training the animal not from his distant dad, but from ranch-land Robert Mitchum (as Billy Buck). When tragedy strikes, the lad learns some of life's lessons. The cast is certainly capable, especially with mother Myrna Loy (as Alice Tiflin) in the mix. But, the triad of adults does not approach the seething subtext present in "Shane" (1953). And, John Steinbeck's screenplay does not evoke the passion of similar films, like "The Yearling" (1947).

For these reasons, "The Red Pony" isn't as well-remembered. Still, it's an excellent production, with some fairly interesting character dynamics. Director Lewis Milestone and photographer Tony Gaudio contribute beautifully. This was the last film for Mr. Gaudio, who must have, although not finally nominated, received some "Academy Award" consideration for "Best Color Cinematography". Aaron Copland's musical score is also award-worthy. Louis Calhern (as grandfather) and Margaret Hamilton (as teacher) add support. Watch for Beau (son of Lloyd) Bridges and Nino Tempo (brother of April Stevens).

******* The Red Pony (3/28/49) Lewis Milestone ~ Peter Miles, Robert Mitchum, Myrna Loy

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