Life's busy, read it when you're ready!

Create a free account to save articles for later, keep track of past articles you’ve read, and receive exclusive access to all RP resources.

Search thousands of RP articles

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth.

Get Articles Delivered!

Articles, news, and reviews that celebrate God's truth. delivered direct to your Inbox!


My friend Flicka

1943 / 89 minutes
Rating: 7/10

All Ken wants is a colt of his own, and seeing as his dad raises horses, that doesn’t seem an unreasonable ambition. But all Ken’s father wants is for his son to start using his head, and he’s not sure when or if that’s ever going to happen. The boy’s fifth-grade report card is impressive in the worst possible way – Ken managed to get a zero in English. He daydreamed his way right through the hour-long test and never even got started.

So it’s against his better judgment that stern poppa does indeed give his underachieving son his choice of a colt. But dad is left shaking his head once again when his son picks Flicka, a colt from the most “loco” mare on the ranch – Ken has picked a colt that may not even be tameable! And shortly after getting picked, Flicka proves just as wild as the father feared, running straight into a barbed wire fence.

There is a silver lining – the injured colt needs attention, and Ken shows himself both willing and able. Might this daydreaming boy be on the way to becoming a young man?


Parents will want to know that one of the horses, a wild mare named Rocket (Flicka’s mom), dies suddenly midway through the film. I was surprised – I figured the horse was just stunned, and even reassured our kids it would recover. But nope. This was shot in World War II so I think the times may have resulted in kids then that were made of a little sterner stuff, so one horse getting killed might have been no big deal to them. But it might be a bit of something to some of our sensitive ten-and-under kids, who have grown up on children’s fare where the peril never results in anything permanent.

Rocket’s death makes Flicka’s own brush with death – at one point dad gives the order to put him down – much scarier than it otherwise would have been. Shucks, it seems like there’s no guarantees in this movie about who is going to make it to the end. But parents can reassure their kidlings that Flicka will indeed make it.

Language concerns are limited to a few “doggone it” and “gee whiz”s.


One modern-day reviewer celebrated this as a “great movie for kids with no… sex, drugs or cursing.” It is that.

But it is also an older film that doesn’t have the frenetic pacing of most of today’s kids’ stuff. That means it might test some children’s attention spans, but that could be a very good thing. I’d suggest it for 10 and over, but I’m not quite sure whether its hundreds of horses might make this a great one for horse-crazy girls, or whether the death of Rocket might mean they’d be the worst possible audience.

I’ll also note that in our family of five, three quite liked it, one fell asleep, and one was quite distraught over poor Rocket. So, if you’re looking for a sure-fire bet for family movie night, this might not be it.

But if you want something from a more decent time, this could fit the bill. It’s full of characters with character, whether that’s a stern but loving dad, a compassionate capable mom, respectful ranch hands, or even the son, a kid who isn’t measuring up but wants to.

Check out a brief clip below.

Enjoyed this article?

Get the best of RP delivered to your inbox every Saturday for free.

Family, Movie Reviews

The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit

Family / Romance 113 minutes / 1968 Rating: 7/10 Horses, humor, and a little romance will make this one a favorite among the preteen girls in your family. Frederick Bolton is a single dad (no mention is made of mom, and it's probably most logical to assume she died some years back) and an advertising executive, and trying to do his best to juggle his responsibilities. So when his daughter Helen asks him for a horse so she can stand a better chance in the horse jumping competitions, and his client wants an inventive way to promote their product, he hits on quite the creative solution. His daughter will get her horse, and they'll name it Aspercel, after his client's product, a remedy for upset stomachs. There is one hitch, though: to make the client happy, Aspercel will have to make regular appearances in the winner's circle, so as to get the publicity they're after. That's the crisis the movie pivots around. Helen is quite talented, and with a little help from her riding instructor, she's got just what it takes to win. But when she finds out that her dad's job depends on her winning, she can't handle that pressure. And, fortunately, her dad doesn't want her to have to deal with it either, even if it does cost him his job. This could have been a dumb movie if dear old dad hadn't stepped up... because it did take him a bit of time to do so. But a loving, if occasionally clueless, father he is indeed. But how is everything going to turn out all right in the end? Well, I won't give it all away, but I will share that the riding instructor, Miss Suzie Clemens, is both willing and able to ride to the rescue! Cautions One odd moment in the film occurs near the end, when Suzie gratefully plants a big kiss on one man, right before she becomes engaged to another. We're not the only ones confused, but the confusion lasts only for a few moments, and perhaps we have to write it off as different cultural habits? Conclusion If you're wondering about the odd title, it doesn't come from anything in the film itself. The horse never wears a gray suit or anything else gray either (though I guess he's kind of a speckled gray himself). The title is borrowed from a movie of 12 years earlier, The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. Why they borrowed it, I don't know, as the two films are completely unrelated, and intended for different target audiences too. Some critics faulted The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit for predictability, and it is guilty as charged. But for a family film, that's not such a bad thing – the kids will know where it's going and enjoy the ride. There is also fodder here for parents to discuss how competitive is too competitive, and how sports can't be allowed to take over our lives. So, overall, a nice night's entertainment. While the DVD is readily available (maybe at your local public library) there doesn't seem to be a trailer available online....