When Dan Light is a young boy (played by Orley Lindgren) living on the frontier, his homesteader parents are killed by Indians. Dan's beloved white colt escapes during the attack.
In the ensuing years Dan is jointly raised by Johnny Wintergreen (Edgar Buchanan), who hunts wild horses for the army, and the commander of the local fort, Major Cullen (Hayden Rorke).
When Dan grows up (now played by Johnson) he's obsessed with tracking down and capturing his long-lost horse, who now leads a wild herd. At one point Dan actually captures the stallion and tames him enough to ride him, but the horse escapes yet again, and Dan is in for conflict when horse traders catch the horse and sell it to the army. Eventually Dan and his horse will reunite in an attempt to save a stranded army patrol which has been attacked by Indians.
This is a quick little 70-minute movie which provides enjoyable company. Johnson isn't as effective as he was under John Ford, in films such as WAGON MASTER (1950) and RIO GRANDE (1950), but then the story's not quite as dramatically compelling, either. It's a nice, easy-going film, and Johnson is always good to see on the screen; he's particularly well-suited for this film in terms of his riding skills and way with horses. No acting necessary in that regard!
The small supporting cast is solid, also including Hugh Beaumont, Don Haggerty, and I. Stanford Jolley.
WILD STALLION was directed by Lewis D. Collins. The assistant director was Andrew McLaglen, an early credit in his career.
The movie was written by Dan Ullman, who has written numerous '50s Westerns reviewed here, most recently SEVEN ANGRY MEN (1955). It was filmed in Cinecolor by Harry Neumann on Southern California movie ranches.
WILD STALLION is available on DVD from the Warner Archive. It's one of the better Cinecolor prints I've seen.
WILD STALLION is also shown from time to time on Turner Classic Movies.