Lonely Are the Brave

Lonely Are the Brave

DVD - 2009
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After landing himself in jail trying to break out his friend, Jack Burns finds himself alone and on the run from the law. Leading the manhunt is Sheriff Morey Johnson, who must bring Burns to justice despite his own sympathy for the fugitive.
Publisher: Universal City, CA : Universal Studios Home Entertainment, [2009]
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (1 hr., 48 min.) : sound, black and white ; 4 3/4 in
4 3/4 in


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Oct 04, 2017

We highly recommend this excellent, though underrated movie! Read somewhere that this was/is Kirk Douglas' favorite role (and favorite movie that he acted in) so thought we'd give it a try. So glad we did! It's beautifully shot in black & white; great scenery & cinematography! Excellent acting by Douglass, Walter Matthau, etc. Even the horse is great! See a young Gena Rowland in what was only her second film role - we didn't even recognize her. An unusual film in many subtle respects, including a bar fight. Watch the extras too, with lots of interesting info on the film, it's makers, and actors, and an interview with Kirk Douglas at age 93 or 94.
Also of note: Trumbo (yes THAT Trumbo!) wrote the excellent script. He was hired under a fake name because he was blacklisted during the "McCarthy years" (which meant that no one could hire him, except that everyone did. PLEASE see another excellent movie "Trumbo" for the story on that.) Douglass insisted that Trumbo's real name be in the beginning credits, thus ending the blacklisting.

Apr 30, 2016

It appears that everyone has an archetype to play as director David Miller laments the taming of the American Spirit. In a wild west increasingly covered in barbed wire fences, super highways, and fast food outlets, Douglas’ fiercely independent cowboy is a proud anachronism who can’t accept the fact his time has come and gone. Gena Rowlands, representing hearth and home, is at a loss to explain why the men in her life can’t just settle down and “obey the rules”, and police officers Walther Matthau and George Kennedy provide the long, sometimes brutal, arm of conformity. Finally, although his role is relatively minor, Kane’s domesticated family man embodies everything Douglas has tried to avoid. Even a young Carroll O’Connor plays his part as a trucker-cum-Angel of Destiny. Perhaps screenwriter Dalton Trumbo’s incisive script, based on Edward Abbey’s novel, wallows a bit too much in glaring contrasts (a horse gets stuck in traffic, a police helicopter soars like a mechanical eagle) and perhaps Jerry Goldsmith’s tinkling musical score too often sounds like a plaintive Hallmark moment, but the film’s keens sense of old ways reluctantly giving way to the new strikes deep. Besides, this is purported to have been Douglas’ favourite picture.

Dec 12, 2014

This is a great film, essential for Edward Abbey readers, because it's based on Abbey's novel, The Brave Cowboy. The tone is adamantly anti-establishment and in-your-face environmentalist. This was Kirk Douglas's favorite role, and he is magnetic. But I also was drawn to Gena Rowlands's characterization of an East-coast abstract expressionist transplanted to the West. Walter Matthau and Carroll O'Connor have supporting roles. Beautiful, sharp black-and-white photography. Memorable score by Jerry Goldsmith.

Oct 07, 2014

Based on the novel "The Brave Cowboy" by Edward Abbey, this is a fine example of a western set in modern times. Other examples include "Hud," "The Misfits," "The Last Picture Show," and "Coogan's Bluff." Kirk Douglas, in a role he claimed to be his favorite, plays a iconoclastic, loner cowboy who just wants to be free, but gets tangled up with the law and has to break out of jail and head to Mexico. Walter Matthau plays a sympathetic sheriff, George Kennedy a sadistic cop, Caroll O' Connor (Archie Bunker) a truck driver, and Gena Rowlands the wife of a close friend. Beautifully shot in black and white, well acted, and a poignant lament for the vanishing west and the plight of the individual, this was unavailable on DVD for a long time, but should now take its rightful place as a rediscovered classic. Features a short doc. with Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Michael Douglas, and Steven Spielberg. Fun fact: the one-armed man who fights with Douglas in the bar was really one-armed and was in "The Fugitive."

voisjoe1 Dec 08, 2013

This was a tale of a cowboy and his horse fight for survival with the mechanization of the world inhibiting his way of life and fencing the world off from some of the earth’s splendors. Originally scripted by the blacklisted Dalton Trumbo under a pseudonym, but some brave souls decided they had had enough of that era’s Tea Party types and shocked the world when they were brave enough to actually list Trumbo’s name in the credits.

Jul 25, 2012

*SPOILERS* I concur with my fellow commenter. Douglas' favorite film, and I'll venture to call it his tour de force, (brought back from obscurity, in part, by Steven Spielberg!). He was remarkable. A visceral, anachronistic screenplay of an outnumbered, outdated lone wolf, by the previously blacklisted Dalton Trumbo, who scripted the Kubrick/Douglas epic, Spartacus, two years previously. In conjunction with a moving, melancholy score by Jerry Goldsmith, the result is harmony. Real chemistry between Kirk and Gena Rowlands. So lonely, man. A huge, heartfelt gesture, all for naught. That damned Whiskey was nothing but trouble (the booze, as well.) That dingbat Carroll O'Connor and his 'privies', too. A poignant, affecting piece. FIVE STARS.

Feb 06, 2011

Overlooked and underrated.
Kirk Douglas' best role.


Add a Quote
Jul 25, 2012

Jack Burns: "...A Westerner likes open country - that means he's got to hate fences. And the more fences there are, the more he hates them." Jerry Bondi: "I've never heard such nonsense in my life." Jack Burns: "It's true though... You ever notice how many fences there're getting to be? ...And the signs they got on em' - no hunting, no hiking, no admission, no trespassing, private property, closed area, start moving, go away, get lost, drop dead! Know what I mean?" Jerry Bondi: "I don't even wanna know." Jack Burns: "And they got those fences that say: this side's jail, or, that side's the street, or, or, here's Arizona, that's Nevada, or, this is us, that's Mexico..."

Jul 25, 2012

Jerry Bondi: "Jack, what are you going to do?" Jack Burns: "Well, about every six months, I figure I owe myself a good drunk... Rinses your insides out, sweetens your breath, tones up your skin!"

Jul 25, 2012

Desk sergeant: "You mean to say you got no identification at all?" Jack Burns: "That's right." Desk sergeant: "No draft card, no social security? No discharge, no insurance, no driver's license, no nothing?" Jack Burns: "No nothing." Desk sergeant: "Look, cowboy, you can't go around with no identication. It's against the law. How are people going to know who you are?" Jack Burns: "I don't need a card to figure out who I am. I already know."

Jul 25, 2012

Jerry Bondi: "You were in jail, weren't you." Jack Burns: "In and out."

Jul 25, 2012

Jack Burns: "I've always missed you, Jerry... I always will." Jerry Bondi: "You wanted too much." Jack Burns: "No... I didn't want enough! I didn't want a house - I didn't want all those pots and pans. I didn't want anything but you. It's God's own blessing I didn't get you." Jerry Bondi: "Why?" Jack Burns: " 'Cause I'm a loner clear down deep to my very guts. You know what a loner is? He's a born cripple. He's a cripple because the only person he can live with is himself. It's his life, the way he wants to live - it's all for him. A guy like that, he'd kill a woman like you. 'Cause he couldn't love you, not the way you are loved."

Jul 25, 2012

Sheriff Morey Johnson: "...Our cowboy just shot down the Air Force..."


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