Adapted from Mary O'Hara's novel, a rancher gives his son a wild colt to raise, and both learn from the experience.
Rob McLaughlin (Preston Foster) reprimands his son Ken (Roddy McDowall) for being tossed from a horse again. Ken has bad grades but asks for a colt. Ken is watching a round-up of the horses; but he knocks rocks loose, and they cause a stampede. His mother Nell (Rita Johnson) asks Rob to give Ken a colt, and Rob says Ken can choose one. Rob and Ken find a dead horse that was killed by a mountain lion. Ken chooses a colt he calls Flicka. Charley Sargent decides to buy Rocket for $500 after Rob shows with the car that the horse can run faster than 35 miles per hour. Rob and Tim (Jeff Corey) manage to get Rocket into the truck, but Rocket hits his head and dies. Rob sells his wild albino horses, but Ken won't give up Flicka.
They try to break Flicka, but she resists and gets entangled in barbed wire. Ken comforts Flicka. Little Hildy (Patti Hale) offers to help Ken with his chores. Ken gets hay for Flicka. Rob looks at Flicka and warns Ken that she may be loco like her mother Rocket. Rob advises Ken how to communicate with a horse. Rob brings home supplies and gives Ken a blanket for Flicka. Nell tells Ken that love puts away fear. Flicka comes to Ken, and Rob has him put his bandanna and belt around her neck. Ken leads her around and then easily puts a halter on Flicka.
Ken finds Flicka limping. Gus (James Bell) says the leg cut is infected. Ken gets Nell, and she treats the leg. Ken asks Rob to look at Flicka, who is laying down sick. Rob says the horse must be put out of her misery and tells Gus to do it when Ken is not there. Ken asks Gus for one more day. At night Ken finds Flicka laying in the stream. In the morning Gus takes sleeping Ken and carries him home. A doctor says Ken is very sick. Gus tells Nell that he put Flicka in a blanket sling. Rob brings home the medicine and plans to shoot Flicka; Nell asks him not to. In the rain Rob aims at Flicka but then hears the mountain lion and shoots at it. Ken and Nell hear the shot and assume Flicka was killed. Rob stays the night to protect Flicka. Nell finds him, and he says not to tell Ken that Flicka is alive so that he won't get upset again if she dies. Rob kills the mountain lion and thanks Flicka. The next day Ken is better, and Rob takes him to see Flicka. Rob says that Ken learned responsibility while he learned to have hope.
This family story offered an escape from the war by depicting
an uplifting domestic tale in the beautiful mountains of Montana.