Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

David Miller directs Kirk Douglas, Walter Matthau and Gena Rowlands in this modern Western where an independent cowboy finds himself on the run and at odds with the system.

Jack Burns is asleep in the wilderness. He is breaking in a new horse, Whisky, who still does not like the saddle, needs his legs shackled overnight. They head into town, two gentle rebels. En route Jack’s path is obstructed by a new fence and a busy road -the latter Whisky doesn’t want to navigate. Jack (a resplendent Kirk Douglas in maybe his best role) finds himself constantly butting against the new America, trying to cage him in. It’s lack of freedoms that used to define it, it’s attitude to grind out non-conformity and heart. Eventually Whisky and he are on the run. Pursued by sheriffs, helicopters and the future. Thrilling action, fine acting and a nice Dalton Trumbo scripted message about the Land of the Free. Would make a fine double bill with Junior Bonner.


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