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Bright Leaf (1950)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  2 July 1950 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 554 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 1 critic

In 1894, Brant Royle shocks the aristocratic tobacco growers of Kingsmont by planning to mass-produce cigarettes.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Brant Royle
...
Sonia Kovac
...
Margaret Jane Singleton
...
Chris Malley (Dr. Monaco)
...
Major James Singleton
...
Rose
Elizabeth Patterson ...
Tabitha Singleton
...
John Barton
Taylor Holmes ...
Lawyer Calhoun
Thurston Hall ...
Phillips
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Storyline

Once, magnate Major Singleton ran the Royles out of the Kingsmont tobacco country for daring to make lowly cigarettes. Now in 1894, Brant Royle, last of his name, is back. Forceful and macho, Brant intends to re-establish his family no matter what it takes. Two lovely women have waited for him: bordello keeper Sonia, with love; Singleton's daughter Margaret, with hatred and desire. As automation rears its head, the struggle attains an epic quality. Will Royle Cigarettes flood the market? Will Brant pick the wrong woman? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Semillas de venganza  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last film in Lauren Bacall's seven year contract with Warner Brothers. See more »

Quotes

Margaret Jane Singleton: You know, I'll say one thing for Brant Royle: when he looks at me, I know I'm a woman.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Last Cigarette (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh, Dem Golden Slippers
(uncredited)
Written by James Allen Bland
Played during the Doctor Monaco's Remedy scenes
See more »

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User Reviews

Okay historical melodrama about the tobacco industry.
8 March 1999 | by (Mountain View, Ca.) – See all my reviews

Gary Cooper plays Brant Royle, a guy from the wrong side of the tracks who sets out to conquer the cigarette market at the turn of the century, whatever the cost. He's pitted against the Southern Aristocracy who've owned the market for generations. His only ally is Lauren Bacall, as the town "bad girl", but that doesn't stop him from pursuing the daughter of his worst enemy: Patricia Neal as the cool embodiment of aristocracy.

It's fairly heavy going through most of the film. There is some technical stuff about the tobacco business, but mostly it's about Royle's emotional conflicts: Love vs. social climbing; his conscience vs his business sense; what to do when achieving your dreams isn't enough; loyalty vs expedience; etc. It's all rather slow and humorless, not at all gripping.

Cooper is a good enough actor to keep you watching through all this even though his character is basically unlikeable, but Patricia Neal is the best reason to watch the film. The best moments of the film, the only ones that make it worth watching, are when she drops the icy mask of aristocratic poise and reveals her true character and motivations. That part it genuinely gripping. Bacall is likeable, but doesn't make an equal impact, and doesn't really seem to belong there. Perhaps it's because she looks terrible in the period wardrobe (19th century clothes were not designed for tall, skinny women).

It's also historically interesting to see a movie about the tobacco industry made before they found out about nicotine causing cancer. Nobody seems to think cigarettes are anything but a harmless indulgence and a cash cow.


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