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Bright Leaf (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 July 1950 (USA)
In 1894, Brant Royle shocks the aristocratic tobacco growers of Kingsmont by planning to mass-produce cigarettes.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) (as Foster Fitz-Simons)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Rose
...
Tabitha Singleton
...
John Barton
...
Lawyer Calhoun
...
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:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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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 »

Goofs

When Brant is lying at the bottom of the stairs as the fire begins in Singleton house, the servant runs to him. In a brief shot, we see Brant raising his arm as if he is coming to and beginning to get up, but in the next shot, as the servant reaches him, he is still lying flat as if still knocked out. 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.
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Connections

Referenced in Bright Leaves (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

You Tell Me Your Dream, I'll Tell You Mine
(uncredited)
Music by Neil Moret (as Chas. N. Daniels)
Lyrics by Seymour Rice and Albert H. Brown
Sung by the girls at the birthday party
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User Reviews

 
An Uncompelling Story of Sad Characters
16 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal starred in 1949's "The Fountainhead", an adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel about an architect who refused to sacrifice his integrity or principles. A year later, the same two starred in this film, "Bright Leaf", a period piece in which Cooper plays a damaged man who becomes successful in the tobacco industry. In "The Fountainhead", Cooper is a strong man of principle, but he is probably the weakest part of that film, perhaps because he did not understand the film (as he himself admitted), perhaps because the role did not suit him. I think Cooper better understood his role in "Bright Leaf". His character, Brant Royle, feels more authentic. But Royle is not a man of principle. He is a caricature--the uncaring, destructive capitalist. He is a man with a chip on his shoulder and as far from a man of principle as one can get.

"Bright Leaf" actually has more in common with the movie "Giant", in which Rock Hudson and James Dean play warring oilmen. But "Giant' is a much better film. Cooper, like Hudson, is headstrong. And Dean's character is like Brant Royle--a man with a chip on his shoulder, who only wants payback for perceived slights. But "Giant" is a bright and shining production, where "Bright Leaf" is a dingy film of sordid intents.

There is a bright moment in "Bright Leaf"--near the end of the film, when Royle discovers the true intentions of his wife, Margaret. In that scene, Patricia Neal virtually glows as she burns with the intensity of her revealed emotions.

But otherwise, this film is only as compelling as a grudge match between two self-absorbed and boring factions. It's not the director's fault; the writing defines these characters and drives them. It's not a horrible film, but it falls short of "The Fountainhead", which--even with the miscasting of Cooper--contains a striking story of principles.


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