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Lonely Are the Brave (1962) Poster

Trivia

Kirk Douglas intended to call the film "The Last Cowboy" but was overruled by the studio. Screenwriter Dalton Trumbo gave his final version of the screenplay the title "The Last Hero".
Jump to: Spoilers (2)
The one-armed man tells Jack Burns in the bar that he lost his arm at Okinawa during World War II. Bill Raisch, the actor who played the one-armed man, actually did lose his right arm in a fire on board a ship during the war. Raisch was Burt Lancaster's stand-in and later landed a recurring role--as the real killer of Dr. Richard Kimble's wife--in the TV series The Fugitive (1963).
After Kirk Douglas read the novel "The Brave Cowboy" by Edward Abbey, he purchased the rights to it and gave the project to his friend Dalton Trumbo. Douglas said Trumbo's screenplay was perfect, the best he had ever read, and he didn't change one word of it.
When preparing a compilation of film clips for Kirk Douglas' life achievement award by the Shoah Foundation, Steven Spielberg couldn't locate footage from this film and asked Universal for a clip. Spielberg recommended to the studio that the film be green-lighted for preservation, which it was.
Not only does Kirk Douglas consider this his favorite picture, but his son Michael Douglas considers it his father's best work, too. Douglas also flouted convention, and caution, at the time, by performing his own stunts in the movie.
Alex Cox praised this film in a 2012 NY Times essay with the statement that "there is no greater western and certainly no greater tragic one".
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Film debut (uncredited) of Bill Bixby (Airman in the helicopter).
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Twentieth Century Fox composer Alfred Newman had admired Jerry Goldsmith's work on the TV series Thriller (1960) and recommended that the young composer be hired. It proved the first major credit in what would become a long and productive career as a film composer.
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President John F. Kennedy watched the movie in the White House in November 1962. In his memoir Conversations with Kennedy, Ben Bradlee wrote, "Jackie read off the list of what was available, and the President selected the one [film] we had all unanimously voted against, a brutal, sadistic little Western called Lonely Are the Brave."
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Edward Abbey's 1956 novel "The Brave Cowboy", on which this film was based, was set in the 1940s era of the military draft and centered on the hero's friend, an anti-draft libertarian who goes to jail for defying the law that required men to register. In the screenplay, however, the character's "crime of principle" was changed to assisting illegal immigrants.
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The helicopter used in the manhunt for Burns was a 1960 Bell 47J-2, serial number 1810. The FAA registration number is N8411E. This bird still lives and is used for aerial advertising.
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This was Carroll O'Connor's film debut.
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Kirk Douglas assembled the cast and crew through his production company, Joel Productions, recruiting ex-blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo, who had written Spartacus (1960) several years before, to write the screenplay.
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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.
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There is a possible goof regarding the helicopter's numbers. The numbers on the ship's belly were said to be N8411E, which are the numbers on the craft's tailfin, but when the belly numbers are actually seen, they are N8441E, indicating that either two different helicopters were used in the film or that, for plot reasons, the wrong numbers were mistakenly given--it's not clear which is the case.
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Jack's line, "I don't need [identification] cards to figure out who I am, I already know" was used by the fugitive sailor in "The Death Ship", the 1926 novel by B. Traven.
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There are clearly two different helicopters used during the filming, and they use their actual registration numbers: N8441E and N8411E. N8411E is a 4-seat Bell 47J-2 Ranger, serial number 1810, built in 1960. N8441E is a 3-seat Bell 47G-3, serial number 2609, also built in 1960.

On July 8th, 1964, N8441E was destroyed near Manson, WA. The accident killed the pilot, the only occupant of the aircraft. The NTSB said that the probable cause for the accident was weather, more specifically updrafts and downdrafts.
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In an interview with Dick Cavett in 1971. Kirk Douglas said this was the his favourite film he'd ever been in.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Jerry Goldsmith wrote cues for the scenes, when Whiskey is hit by the truck and later when she is dying, that were not used.
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The sheriff states they're arrested in Agua Dulce Ridge. That's in California, not New Mexico.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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