At a Mexican ranch, fugitive O'Malley and pursuing Sheriff Stribling agree to help rancher Breckenridge drive his herd into Texas where Stribling could legally arrest O'Malley, but Breckenridge's wife complicates things.
In order to free his best friend Paul Bondi from jail, cowboy Jack Burns gets himself imprisoned only to find out that Bondi does not want to escape. Thus Burns breaks out on his own and is afterwards being chased in the mountains by sheriff Johnson with a helicopter and jeeps.Written by
After Kirk Douglas read "The Brave Cowboy" by Edward Abbey, he purchased the rights to it and gave the project to his Communist 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. See more »
Burns' rifle jumps from its holster on the horse's back to his hand. See more »
[to his horse, as he watches jets leave contrails across the sky]
Time we took off, too.
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I just couldn't let the previous review stand as the only review of this film. Based upon The Brave Cowboy, by Edward Abbey, Lonely Are The Brave is a very good screen adaptation of that classic work. Ed Abbey excelled at demonstrating the loss of the West, either in the environmental impacts that devastate vast areas (The Monkey Wrench Gang, Hayduke Lives), or the loss of individuality and freedom (Fire on the Mountain, The Brave Cowboy). Ed Abbey understood that the character of America survived-until recent times-upon rugged individualism that could unite with others in times of trouble. Jack Burns is an individualist who wants to live his own way, yet he had fought in WWII, and was coming to the aid of a friend. Burns does not try to make others live as he does or make them believe as he does, he simply wants to be left alone in a rapidly shrinking world with his sense of frontier dignity intact. Walter Matthau plays the sheriff who understands his adversary too well; his is the character that has lost the faith and become a collaborator. Matthau's bumbling deputies represent the federal government who stumble over themselves in order to crush Burns' freedom. Kirk Douglas considers this one of his most important films. Ed Abbey approved of the film and even makes a walk-on appearance.
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