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Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 1962 (UK)
A fiercely independent cowboy arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to then escape with an old friend who has been sentenced to the penitentiary.



(screenplay), (novel)

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Jerry Bondi
Sheriff Morey Johnson
Michael Kane ...
Paul Bondi
Deputy Sheriff Gutierrez
Rev. Hoskins
William Mims ...
First Deputy Arraigning Burns (as Bill Mims)
Old Man
Lalo Rios ...


In order to free his best friend Bondi, Jack Burns lets himself be imprisoned only to find out that Bondi does not want to escape. Thus Burns breaks out on his own and is afterwards being chased by sheriff Johnson with helicopters and jeeps. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Life can never cage a man like this!


Drama | Western


Approved | See all certifications »





Release Date:

1962 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Last Cowboy  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kirk Douglas wanted the film to open in art houses and build an audience, but Universal chose to market the film as a Western and opening it widely without any particular support. See more »


If a helicopter's tail rotor is damaged, the helicopter would begin spinning, not swooping back and forth. The pilot would be forced to auto-rotate to a landing. See more »


[first lines]
[to his horse, as he watches jets leave contrails across the sky]
Jack Burns: Time we took off, too.
See more »


Referenced in Matinee (1993) See more »

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User Reviews

The original "First Blood".

Lonely Are the Brave (1962) is a film about a man who's content with life on the open range. He's the last of his kind, the wandering cowboy. The problem is the open range is disappearing around him. A guy like that can't live off the land anymore because there's no land for him to live off of. Everywhere he goes the land is either owned or forbidden for him to enter. Kirk Douglas stars as the last cowboy who just can't get it into his head how much the times have changed. Especially when he tries to rescue his good friend from the local jail. This causes more trouble than he can comprehend.

What's so funny about this movie is how much of the story, scenes and situations were later used in it's quasi-remake "First Blood". The basic story line and his troubles with the law are quite similar. Walter Matthau and Gena Rowlands co-star in this awesome film about a dying way of life. I saw this film several years ago on Turner Classic Movies. It's a sad tribute to the old west.

Highly enjoyable and recommended.

P.S. Gena Rowlands looks pretty good in this picture!

45 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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