Lonely are the Brave is a hymn to rugged individualism and freedom slowly being strangled to death by voracious urban development. Kirk Douglas, a Korean War vet, is a footloose cowboy who lives most of his life under the stars, going from job to job, and not averse to cutting his way through barbed-wire fences when they get in his way.
“The first film version of Patrick Hamilton’s stage play about a Victorian criminal who tries to drive his wife mad in order to prevent her from discovering his guilty secret while he searches their house for a stash of precious rubies. Nothing like as lavish as the later MGM version with Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman, but in its own small-scale way a superior film by far. Lurking menace hangs in the air like a fog, the atmosphere is electric, and Wynyard suffers exquisitely as she struggles to keep dementia at bay.
Tonight’s Saturday Night Cinema classic is a sweet, endearing film, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Directed by the incomparable Elia Kazan, this adaptation of the classic novel tells the story of young Francie Nolan (Peggy Ann Garner) who yearns for life beyond her Brooklyn apartment building. While her daily routine is difficult, she makes the best of her situation, living with her hard-working mother (Dorothy McGuire) and alcoholic father.
Intelligence applied exactly where it is most rare: in the lavish, star-studded epic. Otto Preminger’s 1960 film, based on the Leon Uris novel, makes fine use of dovetailed points of view in describing the birth pains of Israel. With Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Peter Lawford, Ralph Richardson, Sal Mineo, Lee J. Cobb, Alexandra Stewart, and John Derek.