Lonely Are the Brave
Drama / Western
Directed by David Miller
Kirk Douglas as John W. 'Jack' Burns
Gena Rowlands as Jerry Bondi
Walter Matthau as Sheriff Morey Johnson
Michael Kane as Paul Bondi
Carroll O'Connor as Truck Driver
William Schallert as Deputy Harry
George Kennedy as Deputy Gutierrez
Karl Swenson as Rev. Hoskins, fellow prison inmate
Dan Sheridan as Deputy Glynn
Lonely Are the Brave is a 1962 dramatic western released by Universal Pictures, directed by David Miller.
Jack Burns is a cowboy and a man living in the wrong time and place. He is independent and self-reliant, and abhors modern technology and government’s rules that don’t allow a man to live the way he wants to. He’s a decorated war veteran, but has always had problems with authority. He spends his time working jobs on ranches as he travels on his horse, Whiskey, with no permanent address, and sleeping wherever he finds himself at the time.
Jack enters a town and stops to visit with Jerry, the wife of his old friend Paul Bondi, who is in jail for aiding illegal immigrants. Horrified at the thought of being penned up in jail, Jack comes up with a plan to help his friend. Jack fights a one-armed man in a barroom and is detained, but the police decide to release him so he punches a policeman to make sure they take him to jail.
Sentenced to one year, Jack is placed in the same jail as Bondi with the intention of helping him escape. In jail, the inmates are brutalized by a sadistic deputy sheriff, Gutierrez. When Burns defends Bondi against Gutierrez he becomes Gutierrez’ next target.
In the middle of the night Burns saws through the bars on the windows of the jail cell, but Bondi refuses to join in the escape, preferring to serve his sentence and not have to live as a fugitive.
Burns escapes and returns to Jerry’s house where he retrieves Whiskey and some food and heads for the border into Mexico. He is being hunted by Sheriff Johnson and Deputy Sheriff Harry, traveling by jeep, and they eventually call in a helicopter to join in the search. Deputy Gutierrez also joins in the manhunt.
Making their way over rocky, hilly, rough terrain, Burns and Whiskey make for a stand of trees where they can hide and evade the lawmen pursuing them. When Gutierrez thinks he has Jack cornered, Jack surprises him and knocks him unconscious and Jack and Whiskey make a final dash for freedom across a two lane highway in a rainstorm.
According to Kirk Douglas his role in Lonely Are the Brave is his personal favorite. About the film and his role, he is reported to have said, “I love that character and his relationship with his horse. And I always consider that my best movie. It was not a big success. It’s gotten to be more of a cult film right now. Again, Dalton Trumbo wrote the screenplay. It was the one time we never changed a word; it was perfect, like a hole in one.”
Lonely Are the Brave - Trailer