Cast & Crew
While driving their herd of wild horses through Rawhide Valley, horse traders Happy Hay and Alkali Jones hear a gunshot and ride to investigate. They soon come upon Carter and some other horse ranchers firing on Wildfire, a powerful stallion the ranchers suspect is luring away their herds. Happy prevents Carter from killing Wildfire by threatening him with a gun, and after the infuriated ranchers leave, Happy and Alkali tend to Wildfire's wound. Sometime later, Happy and Alkali ride into Rawhide City with their herd, but are told by Sheriff Johnny Deal that no honest horse trading is done there. As if to prove Johnny's point, crooked land agent Pete Fanning and his henchmen, Buck Perry, Moose Harris and Steve Kane, plot with Doug Hawker, a representative of the Cattlemen's Association, to claim Happy and Alkali's horses for themselves. Backed by Fanning, Buck insists that the traders' two pintos were stolen from him. Happy denies Buck's charges and starts to fight him. After Johnny stops the brawl, Happy shows him a bill of sale for the pintos, and Buck is forced to back down. On his way to talk with horse buyer Ezra Mills, Happy is then approached by Judy Gordon, who flirts with him, then runs off when she sees Fanning. Ezra warns Happy to leave town, but Happy, whose interest has been piqued, refuses. Just then, Alkali reports that the pintos have been stolen, and the two follow the horses' hoofprints to Judy's ranch. There, Judy admits that she took the horses so that she could speak with Happy, whom she suspects is the U.S. Marshal she recently sent for. Although he denies being a lawman, Happy offers to help Judy investigate the horse thefts that have been plaguing the area. As Happy and Alkali are riding back to town, they are shot at by Buck, Steve and Moose. Happy eludes his attackers, but Alkali is shot and tumbles into a gulley. Wildfire sees Alkali and allows the wounded trader to mount him. After Wildfire delivers Alkali to Judy's ranch, Carter happens by and sees the horse. Johnny, who is Judy's fiancé, is also at the ranch and tells Carter that he must secure Hawker's permission to destroy the animal. Later, in town, Happy identifies Buck, Steve and Moose as his assailants, and convinces Johnny to deputize him so that they can arrest the thieves. Once the thugs are jailed, Happy discovers that his herd has been stolen from the corral. At the same time, Hawker gives Carter permission to shoot Wildfire. Once again, however, Happy prevents Carter from killing Wildfire, then sets the animal free. The next day, Happy reports to Johnny that he found his herd in a box canyon and can prove that Wildfire could not have been responsible, as there were no shoeless hoofprints at the corral. Just then, Judge Polson, who had been sent to try Buck, Steve and Moose, rides up and, based on statements made by Hawker and Fanning, accuses Happy of a frame-up. The judge also accuses Happy and Alkali of stealing Buck's horses and relieves Johnny of his duties. Before the judge can arrest him, Happy flees, and Alkali and Johnny also escape. Happy then leads Johnny and Alkali to the box canyon, where Fanning and his men have their hideout. There, Happy shows Johnny and Alkali a letter he took from Hawker's office, indicating that, through Fanning, Hawker is plotting to buy up all the local ranch land, including Judy's, and sell it for a profit to a large ranching concern. Now aware of Hawker and Fanning's motives, Happy, Johnny and Alkali waylay Judge Polson and force him at gunpoint to the hideout. When the judge spots a notorious horse thief named Jess enter the hideout, he joins Happy in the fight against the outlaws. After Happy and Johnny sneak up to the hideout and overhear Fanning exchanging money with Jess, Hawker rides up. With all the thieves in one place, Happy, Johnny, Alkali and the judge lure them out, and a fierce fight ensues. Happy finally knocks out Fanning, while Hawker is arrested by Johnny, and the others are either killed or apprehended. Later, Johnny and Judy enjoy their wedding day, while Happy says a final farewell to Wildfire.
"wee Willie" Davis
Wildfire, A Horse
W. T. Crespinel
William B. David
W. C. Tuttle
This was Screen Guild Productions first release.
The film's title card reads: "Wildfire The Story of a Horse." Wildfire was the first production of Action Pictures, Inc., and the first release of Screen Guild Productions, Inc. According to a September 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item, Cinecolor had an "interest" in Action Pictures. A December 1944 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that United Artists Corp. was being sought as the film's distributor. Modern sources add Hal Price to the cast.