Those of you who did not float away this last stormy Friday, can ready yourselves for another treat this next Friday, November 13, 2009, when the TFC is happy to screen another classic film, LONELY ARE THE BRAVE (1962). It was directed by David Miller, who was a Hollywood veteran who directed 45 films since 1935, including BILLY THE KID (1941), with Robert Taylor, FLYING TIGERS (1942), and MIDNIGHT LACE (1960). Steven Spielberg was mostly responsible for getting the film, LONELY ARE THE BRAVE its DVD release. Kirk Douglas considers it his “favorite film role”, even more so than SPARTACUS (1960). Many of the supporting cast went on to have wonderful film acting careers.
Benjamin Franklin: “Those who are willing to trade liberty for security deserve neither.’
It was based on the novel, THE BRAVE COWBOY by Edward Abbey. The screenplay was written by Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted in 1947, moved to Mexico and wrote 17 films under fake names. He wrote ROMAN HOLIDAY (1951) as Ian McLellay Hunter. He won an Oscar for his screenplay of THE BRAVE ONE (1956) under the name Robert Rich. He had a friend accept the Oscar. Before 1947 was was lauded as a great writer, giving us KITTY FOYLE (1940), A GUY NAMED JOE (1943), and THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO (1944). Kirk Douglas had hired him to write the screenplay for SPARTACUS (1960), and gave him full screen credit using his real name, thus breaking the blacklist forever. Trumbo went on to write EXODUS (1960), THE LAST SUNSET (1961), HAWAII (1969), JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN (1971), and PAPILLON (1973).
Desk Sergeant: Look cowboy, you can’t go around with no identification. It’s against the law. How are people going to know who you are?
Jack Burns: I do not a card to figure out who I am. I already know.
George Perry of BBC wrote: “Director David Miller never did anything better, and although it was not particularly successful at the box office, it has come to be regarded as one of American classics of the 1960’s”.
The musical score was written by Jerry Goldsmith, who had written hundreds of themes for TV shows like GUNSMOKE, HAVE GUN, WILL TRAVEL, WAGON TRAIN, TWILIGHT ZONE, and THRILLER. From 1955 he wrote over 300 scores. LONELY ARE THE BRAVE was his first feature film. He went on to write scores for LILLIES OF THE FIELD (1963), SEVEN DAYS IN MAY (1964), RIO CONCHOS (1964), IN HARM’S WAY (1965), VON RYAN’S EXRESS (1965), A PATCH OF BLUE (1965), THE BLUE MAX (1966), PATTON (1970), WILD ROVERS (1971), PAPILLON (1973), CHINATOWN (1974), THE WIND AND THE LION (1975), THE OMEN (1976), and all the sequels, ISLANDS IN THE STREAM (1977), ALIEN (1979), POLTERGEIST (1982), and L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997) to name a few of my personal favorites.
LONELY ARE THE BRAVE (1962) Directed by David Miller @ 107 minutes.
The film stars: Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Walter Matthau, George Kennedy, Carroll O’Conner, William Schallert. Synopsis: Jack Burns is a laconic cowboy drifter who is ill at ease with the modern world. He rolls his own smokes, and cuts through fences if they are in his way—on a collision course with conformity. When he learns that his best friend has been jailed for assisting illegal aliens, Burns gets himself arrested hoping to break his buddy out. When his friend refused to flee out of principle, Burns broke out on his own, setting off a powder keg and a massive manhunt—culminating in a showdown on the top of the world on the peaks of the Sierra Madre. In VARIETY it was written, “Often touching and well served by its performances and photography, it focuses on the loner who is fenced in and bemused by the encroachment and paradoxes of civilization.” Tagline: “Life could never cage a man like this! He stood alone….towering over those who would hunt him down.”
The cinematography was by Philip Lathrop, who lensed 85 films from 1958. He too was a veteran of television, shooting RAWHIDE, COMBAT, and PETER GUNN. LONELY ARE THE BRAVE was only his third feature film. He went on to shoot DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (1962), SOLDIER IN THE RAIN (1963), THE CINCINNATI KID (1965), POINT BLANK (1967), WILD ROVERS (1971), and HARD TIMES (1975).
Jay Seaver of EFILMCRITIC wrote, “Kirk Douglas is at his best. The film is a loving and clear-eyed eulogy for the Old West as well as a highly entertaining chase film.”
Jack Burns: Because I’m a loner clear deep down in my gut. Know what a loner is? He is 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 decent woman like you.
So all those folks out there who want to catch this rare Kirk Douglas classic, join us at the Center for Spiritual Learning, located at 206 North J Street, at the corner of Division and J streets in Tacoma. There will be a handful of us gathered early downstairs in the kitchen area for those of you who value fellowship and banter about films and life. At 6:15pm, the Phantom Director and Farishta will have a terrific entrée ready for us to munch and slurp our hearts away. Some folks enjoy bringing vittles of their own to share, wine, bread, cheese, desserts….and you are my heroes; the more food the warmer the tummies and socialization. There will be raffle tickets for those who want to partake, with two great prizes; 40% cash of the gathered funds, or a terrific DVD. A short film will be shown promptly at 7pm, followed by the raffle results and my introduction to the feature film. LONELY ARE THE BRAVE will screen immediately afterwards. See you at the movies!