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Bright Leaf (1950)

 -  Drama | Romance  -  2 July 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 537 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 1 critic

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



(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: Bright Leaf (1950)

Bright Leaf (1950) on IMDb 6.8/10

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


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

2 July 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bright Leaf  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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


Brant Royle: Still my girl?
Sonia Kovac: Don't bet on it! You think all yuh have to do is snap your finger at me. All these years and not even a letter!
Brant Royle: Nothing to write about.
Sonia Kovac: I could have been dead.
Brant Royle: Then what good would a letter be?
See more »


Referenced in Bright Leaves (2003) See more »


Sweet Marie
Music by Raymon Moore
Lyrics by Cy Warman
Sung by a vocal group on the phonograph
See more »

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User Reviews

Big southern drama that falls flat
26 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Bright Leaf" is a 1950 Warner Brothers southern extravaganza starring Gary Cooper, Lauren Bacall, Patricia Neal, and Jack Carson.

Gary Cooper is Brant Royle, who in 1894 returns to his southern town of Kingsmont, where his family was driven out of the tobacco market by Major Singleton (Donald Crisp). Royle has returned to get his revenge and reinstate the family name in the area. There are two women in his life: a madam, Sonia (Lauren Bacall) and Singleton's beautiful daughter Margaret (Patricia Neal).

With the help of Sonia, Royle buys into a machine that actually rolls cigarettes, which drives down the cost of producing them. He eventually takes over nearly the entire tobacco industry. But Royle won't be happy until he has brought Major Singleton to his knees and marries Margaret. But in his determination to get what he wants, he loses even more.

The moral of "Bright Leaf" is two-fold: Beware of what you want; and big talent won't really help a mediocre movie. The novel was probably inspired by "Gone with the Wind," but the quality of the story - in the film, at least - doesn't come close. There are two likable characters - Sonia and Carson's role of Chris. The rest of the main characters are odious.

Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper were in the midst of their passionate affair, but the relationship between the characters they play is pretty frosty. Given their romance, perhaps the Bacall role would have been better for Neal. Bacall took this job to finish off her contract with Warners. She's good, but her character isn't really fleshed out. Cooper is a great presence, but he has a difficult job because the character is not sympathetic. Also, I suspect that at age 50, the character was supposed to be younger. Neal is beautiful, and her performance has some real bite.

All in all, not up to the talents on screen.

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