When Jake Irons and Brighty are crossing the Colorado River in the cage, Brighty freaks out and starts kicking at the wooden cage door. Before he starts kicking, the door is seen to be firm, intact, and unbroken, but in the shot of his first kick, you can see that before the hoof impact the door is already somewhat broken. See more »
You know, Old Timer was right. Burros is sacred critters. They don't never really die.
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Brighty Of The Grand Canyon has one of the best sets for a film ever, the fabulous Grand Canyon. Shot entirely on location in Arizona, Brighty Of The Grand Canyon would have been impossible to mess up scenically even if it had been shot with a brownie camera.
Brighty is a little scrub burro the kind that inhabits the canyon and knows some of the many trails in and out of it. As such he's a valuable animal. Valuable to old timer prospector Dick Foran and valuable to fugitive Pat Conway who fled into the canyon and who murders Foran to get the gold he's scratched out of the place.
But Conway reckons without young Dandy Curran whose parents have a trading post and with Joseph Cotten who is a licensed hunter by the government to kill mountain lions who prey on some of the other endangered species. This is definitely in keeping with who was president at the time.
In fact there's a portion of the film that has Cotten and Curran accompanying President Theodore Roosevelt on a hunting trip for mountain lion in the Grand Canyon. Karl Swenson plays our 26th president in appropriate bully style, but for the life of me I can't figure where all the Secret Service was at the time. It was after William McKinley was assassinated and Roosevelt became president that the Secret Service was assigned presidential protection. Here we see Swenson just with Cotten and Curran and with Cotten carrying a weapon at that.
Brighty is a tough critter, he survives quite a bit in this film, including a cougar attack and a fall in the Colorado River. This is the only animal film I know with a burro as the lead. It's a pleasant 90 minutes for the whole family.
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