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Westerns
My Friend Flicka

Title Card - MY FRIEND FLICKA

CBS/NBC Network
1956 - 1958
Drama
30 Minutes

This western series followed the adventures of a young boy, Ken McLaughlin (Johnny Washbrook) and his horse, Flicka who lived at the Goose Bar Ranch in Coulee Springs, Montana in the early 1900s.Flicka is a Swedish word for "little girl."

Flicka was once a wild stallion until captured by Ken's father who gave the horse to his son to teach him responsibility. When Ken wanted Flicka to come a running he stuck his finger in his mouth and whistled a special tune so his horse rushed to his side.

Other friends of Flicka included:

  • Gene Evans as Rob McLaughlin, Ken's stern but fair father and owner of the Goose Bar Ranch.
  • Anita Louise as Nell McLaughlin, Rob's beautiful blond wife.
  • Frank Ferguson as Gus Broeberg, the ranchhand
  • Pamela Beaird as Hildy Broeberg, Ken's companion on the ranch.
  • Hugh Sanders/Sydney Mason as Sheriff Downey
  • Tudor Owen as Sergeant Tim O'Gara
  • Craig Duncan as the US Marshal
  • Phil Chambers as Doc Harrow
  • Guinn Williams as Jeb Taylor

Cast of MY FRIEND FLICKA

Listen to Theme Music

Flicka and her friends at the Goose Bar Ranch had many adventures. Here are a few of them:

Flicka

  • Flicka is stolen by an outlaw.
  • Flicak is accidentally blinded and must be killed.
  • Flicka runs off with Rebel the stallion.
  • Flicak is stolen by strangers who wanted to buy him.
  • Flicka helps a man escape from a local jail.

Ken

  • Ken helps a disabled child who is afraid of horses.
  • Ken is thrown from Flicka and stalked by a cougar.
  • Ken is held hostage by an escaped convict.
  • Ken saved an Indian baby and trouble ensues.
  • Ken is accused of releasing a horse so Flicka can win a race.
  • Ken is trapped in a mine with another boy.
  • Ken neglects his chores to hunt for gold with Gus.
  • Ken tracks the trail of a mysterious ghost rider.
  • Ken searches for a runaway horse.
  • Ken befriends a child of homesteaders feuding with ranchers.
  • Ken helps a horse trainer tame a powerful black stallion.
  • Ken helps a little girl find her runaway dog.
  • Ken meets Teddy Roosevelt who intervenes with local ranchers and cattleman feuding over grazing rights.
  • Ken prepares for the arrival of royal countess.
  • Ken finds a stray white cold and brings it home.
  • Ken hides Flicka in an abandoned barn that gets sold.
  • Ken befriends a thief.
  • Ken's ranch is taken over by escaped criminals.
  • Ken rescues a puppy caught in a rabbit snare.
  • Ken is cruel to an eccentric woman.
  • Ken runs away form home but soon regrets his decision.
  • Ken meets a little girl and her prize bull that soon cause trouble.

Rob

  • Rob and rival rancher race to capture a wild stallion.
  • Rob is accused of poisoning a waterhole.
  • Rob and family try to save a horse from the glue factory.
  • Rob's horses are gone and he decides to sell the ranch.
  • Rob save a photographer/thief? from stampeding horses.
  • Rob expects trouble when a former Indian Chief and his grandson who ran away from the reservation.
  • Rob competes in a medicine show wrestling match.
  • Rob get the hankering to re-enlist in the cavalry.
  • Rob buys a stallion with a curse and soon strange things are happing at the ranch. The horse bears a brand written in Chinese that translates: "Evil comes to him who owns me."
  • Rob and Ken track an escaped show horse.

Nell

  • Nell is sick but prejudiced locals won't let a young Indian doctor treat her.
  • Nell is alone at home with Ken when escaped criminals tale over the ranch.

TRIVIA NOTE:  Filmed in color, the original 39 episodes of MY FRIEND FLICKA were broadcast in black and white on CBS and then in color when they aired in reruns on NBC.

The series is based on the trilogy of novels "My Friend Flicka," "Thunderhead, Son of Flicka" and "Green Grass of Wyoming" by Mary O'Hara and the movie My Friend Flicka (1941). 

In the movie My Friend Flicka (1943), a ten-year-old Ken McLaughlin (Roddy McDowell) tended to the wounds of a wild filly who hurt itself when trying to escape captivity. Eventually the horse grew to trust the boy and they became fast friends.

The four-year-old Arabian Sorrel mare who played Flicka on the TV series was called Wahama. She resembled Gene Autry's horse, Champion  having white stockings and a partially blazed face.

Johnny Washbrook with Wahama the Horse - MY FRIEND FLICKA

Flicka and Goldie (Flicka's double") were trained by Les Hilton who trained the horses in the original 1943 film My Friend Flicka. Goldie was used for dangerous stunts and fast chases. Stephanie "Steffi" Epper was Johnny Washbrook's stunt double.

The horse that played Flicka was later sold to rancher in New Mexico who then sold the horse to another rancher who bred Flicka. Unfortunately, Flicka (Wahama) died from pregnancy complications.  Wahama was foaled 13 June 1950 (sired by Abu Farwa x Mehana)


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