Over the years since then, with subsequent viewings, it has slowly grown to be one of my favorites; it has crept into my personal Top 10. Here are the bare-bones details:
“Lonely Are the Brave” (1962): B&W. 107 minutes. Directed by David Miller. Screenplay: Dalton Trumbo. Score: Jerry Goldsmith. Cast: Kirk Douglas, Walter Matthau, Gena Rowlands, George Kennedy, Carroll O’Connor. Note: The story is set in what were then current times. To help his fellow Korean War vet best friend, a free-spirited cowboy on horseback rides into a small town in New Mexico, to fling himself recklessly at the hobbling effects of modernity’s demands … then he tries desperately to make a seemingly impossible escape.
To celebrate the Biograph’s 40th anniversary in February of 2012, I had the pleasure of being a part of presenting “Lonely” to an audience again, as the James River Film Society paired it with “Breathless” and showed the double feature as a fundraiser. Once again it was worth noting how many in attendance said they hadn’t seen it before.
Instead, the studio, Universal, slated the movie for general release and promoted it as an action film. So, like some other noteworthy film classics, “Lonely” flopped in its original first-run release.
Below are links to a seven-part 2002 interview with Douglas on YouTube, during which he talks about making the movie. Each part is short, two or three minutes. If you haven't seen the movie yet, note there's a spoiler alert for a bit of info that is in Part Five.
Part Five (spoiler alert)
Bonus! Here's a link to see the entire movie on YouTube.