Lonely Are the Brave

Movie Details

DirectorDavid Miller
Key CastKirk Douglas, Walter Matthau, Gena Rowlands, Michael Kane
Film TypeBlack and White
Amazon Price: $

Kirk Douglas Plays a Wandering Outsider in “Lonely Are the Brave”

In “Lonely Are the Brave,” a 1962 adaptation of iconic Southwestern author Edward Abbey’s novel “Brave Cowboy,” Kirk Douglas plays an anachronistic loner, Jack Burns, who rejects most of the trappings of modern American society. Refusing to carry identification and devoted to the West’s open, rugged spaces, Burns lives as something of an old-fashioned, semi-nomadic Western cowboy.
He’s drawn into sharp conflict with the 20th century when he attempts to break a longtime friend out of jail who has been incarcerated for helping Mexicans illegally cross the border. To Burn’s astonishment, his friend, Paul Bondi (Michael Kane) doesn’t want to break out of jail because he wants to serve out his time peaceably and return to his wife.
Intrinsically opposed to confinement, oppression, and homogeneity, Burns finds himself in a desperate—and very real—struggle against those very forces. He manages to escape prison, but finds himself pitted against the full technological arsenal of the world he so resolutely abhors. The sheriff (played by Walter Matthau) doesn’t ride a horse or summon a traditional posse. Instead, he drives a jeep, talks on walkie-talkies and uses a helicopter to chase Burns.
Reportedly one of Kirk Douglas’s favorite of his own films and scored by Jerry Goldsmith, “Lonely Are the Brave” features a topnotch supporting cast, including Walter Matthau as the local sheriff, Gena Rowlands as his jailed friend’s wife, and Carroll O’Connor as a truck driver.
Arthur Knight, movie critic for The Saturday Evening Post described “Lonely are the Brave” as “… the finest western script since High Noon and The Gunfighter.”

• Kirk Douglas read Edward Abbey’s novel “Brave Cowboy” and decided to purchase the movie rights to the book. Kirk Douglas then asked his friend Dalton Trumbo( who was an acclaimed Academy Award winning writer by this time) to write the screenplay for “Lonely are the Brave.” According to reports, after Trumbo finished the screenplay, Douglas read it, loved it and didn’t make any changes.


Lonely Are the Brave
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In “Lonely Are the Brave, Kirk Douglas stars as Jack Burns, a cowboy who refuses to adapt to modern society. When he tries to break a friend out of jail, he gets himself in trouble.

Walter Matthau stars as the sheriff who is leading the chase after him.

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