Lonely Are the Brave

  • Directors: David Miller
  • Producers: Edward Lewis
  • Writers: Edward Abbey, Dalton Trumbo
  • Genres: Drama, Western
  • Actors: Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands, Walter Matthau

John W. “Jack” Burns (Kirk Douglas) works as a roaming ranch hand much as the cowboys of the old West did, refusing to join modern society. He rejects much of modern technology, not even carrying any kind of identification such as a driver’s license or Social Security card.

Burns rides up on his horse to visit Jerry (Gena Rowlands). She is the wife of an old friend named Paul Bondi who has been jailed for giving aid to illegal immigrants. Jack explains his dislike for a society that restricts a man on where he can or can’t go, what he can or can’t do.

After a violent barroom fight against a one-armed man in which he is compelled to use only one arm himself, Burns is arrested. When the police decide to let him go, he punches a cop to deliberately get himself thrown in jail so he can see Paul.

While there he incurs the wrath of a sadistic deputy (George Kennedy). Burns is badly beaten while under arrest. He tries to persuade Paul to bust out of jail, but Paul has a family and too much at stake to become a fugitive from the law, so he refuses to go. Burns breaks out by himself.

During the course of the story, the seemingly extraneous progress of a tractor-trailer truck, driven by Carroll O’Connor, is intercut with the principal events. The pursuit of Jack Burns comes to an end when the truck driver, vision impaired by rain, collides with Burns and his horse while they try to cross a busy modern highway.

Seven Days in May

  • Directors: John Frankenheimer
  • Producers: John Frankenheimer, Edward Lewis
  • Writers: Novel, Fletcher Knebel, Charles W Bailey II, Screenplay, Rod Serling
  • Genres: Thriller, Drama
  • Actors: Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Fredric March, Ava Gardner, Edmond O Brien

The plot centers on the fictitious U.S. President Jordan Lyman (Fredric March). As the story begins, Lyman faces a wave of public dissatisfaction with his decision to sign a treaty with the Soviet Union, an agreement that will supposedly result in both nations simultaneously destroying their nuclear weapons under mutual international inspection. This is extremely unpopular with both the President’s opposition and the military, who believe the Soviets cannot be trusted.

As the debate over the treaty rages on, an alert and well-positioned Pentagon insider, United States Marine Corps Colonel Martin “Jiggs” Casey (Kirk Douglas) becomes aware of a conspiracy among the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) led by his own superior officer, the charismatic head of the JCS, Air Force General James Mattoon Scott (Burt Lancaster). As he digs deeper, he uncovers the conspiracy’s shocking goal: Scott and his cohorts, Colonel Broderick (John Larkin), Colonel Murdock (Richard Anderson), Gen. Hardesty (Tyler McVey), along with allies in the United States Congress led by Sen. Frederick Prentice (Whit Bissell) and influential members of the news media led by Harold McPherson (Hugh Marlowe), are plotting to stage a coup d’etat to remove President Lyman and his cabinet seven days hence.

Scott demands everyone stay in line. Lyman, however, discovers the confession that Girard obtained has survived the crash. A copy is given to Scott and the other officers who were in on the plot. Scott’s cohorts resign, and the plot of a military takeover is impossible now. The film ends with Lyman addressing the American people on the country’s future.