This morning I woke up in the mood for some Kirk Douglas movies. I chose two movies that were written by Dalton Trumbo. Both movies were on German Blu-rays that will soon have 2020 Blu-ray releases here in the States. Kino has already announced one for Blu-ray release in May and I suspect the second movie will also be released by Kino later on in 2020. Therefore, I think it was best I watched these two Blu-rays again in their entirety to see if its wise to double-dipped on either of these film titles.
The first Blu-ray this morning was "The Last Sunset" (1961) starring Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone, Joseph Cotton and Carol Lynley. This western was directed by Robert Aldrich. From what I can gather Douglas and Aldrich didn't get along during the filming of this movie. Aldrich called it an unpleasant experience. To me, it's a good western with a plot twist that I didn't see coming when I first watched this movie on TV some time in the mid-1960s. Frankly, I thought the plot twist was ahead of its time. The movie is about a gunfighter fleeing to Mexico from an American lawman that is after him for a personal reason. The gunfighter makes his way to a ranch in which his former lover is the wife of the alcoholic's ranch owner. The ranch owner is preparing too drive his cattle to Texas for market and needs some additional hands to help complete the cattle drive. Again, I think it's a good western and always thought the idea of the gunfighter having a derringer as his weapon of choice kind of cool, but kind of stupid for obvious reasons. The Blu-ray video presentation was decent, but if Kino releases this movie on Blu-ray with an audio commentary then I'll probably buy it again on Blu-ray disc.
My second Douglas/Trumbo movie this morning was "Lonely are the Brave" (1962) starring Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands and Walter Matthau. This modern western is about a cowboy born in the wrong era that is still fighting against modern society and its norms. I don't want to say much more about the film except it's basically a movie about a man and his horse living in (1962) New Mexico that really should be living in (1882) New Mexico. Douglas has stated this was a personal favorite of his and it's the same with me. Just a great film and one that every film buff should see at least once in their life. The movie has a great cast of other character actors in lesser, but still pivotal roles. The Blu-ray video presentation is really good, but like "The Last Sunset" if the upcoming Kino BD release in May has an audio commentary then I'll buy it again on Blu-ray. Hell, I even have this on HD digital that I bought on iTunes for $4.99 a couple of years ago. That's how much I really love this movie!
Robert, thank you for your post. Because I learned from it that "Lonely Are The Brave" is likely to have a Blu-ray release, this coming Spring, and I've been hoping for a BD release for a very long time. That movie is quite a fine film, and Kirk Douglas has long been a favorite actor of mine, but sadly, I also have a strong personal connection with "Lonely Are The Brave". In 2006, my daughter, and only child, Sarah, was living in Tucson, Arizona, about 2,000 miles away from where she grew up, here in Ohio. In 1999, Sarah had moved out to Arizona to live with her boyfriend there. And during trips made to Arizona, to visit my daughter, my wife & I, had accompanied Sarah to see places very similar to some of the locales shown in that Kirk Douglas film. But by early 2006, Sarah was a tortured, seriously bi-polar, young woman of 30, whose condition had previously brought her to try 4 suicide attempts, including me experiencing the aftermath of her 4th attempt, as I was at a Tucson hospital, in April 2001, finally seeing my severely injured daughter return to consciousness, on the 3rd day I was there. Don't want to draw this out too long to reach the point where Mr Douglas's film becomes relative to my personal situation, so I'll summarize things, somewhat, by saying that Sarah initially recovered from her 2001 incident, but then went on to experience almost 5 more years of a life that was a hard mixture of happiness that often alternated with emotional pain. So on the evening of Saturday Feb. 11th 2006, I received a phone call from my daughter's step brother, Marc, that Sarah had taken off in her car, earlier that day, and frequent calls to her cellphone were bringing no response. Marc told me on that Saturday evening that he'd immediately call me if Sarah was located. So all night, I couldn't sleep, and the TV was on, showing whatever films that TCM happened to be playing. Then finally, somewhere around 5 to 6 o'clock Sunday morning, after getting no news all night, from Marc, about the search for my daughter, I found myself staring, bleary eyed, at the scene in "Lonely Are The Brave", where Kirk Douglas is saying goodbye to Gena Rowlands. And at that moment, it just suddenly struck me that it was all over for Sarah, and that my daughter would not be returning to us this time. Then, about 7 or 8 hours later, around 1 PM Sunday, my wife and I were over at her sister's house, when my daughter's step dad, Dan, called from Tucson and said "Michael, they have found Sarah, and she is not living."
I'm sorry fellow HTF members, if I bummed anyone out, with my account of a personal landmark, which would hit some people as being morbid, since it associates "Lonely Are The Brave", in some small way, with an actual tragedy, from the reality we live.
But if & when, "Lonely Are The Brave", shows up on Blu-ray, I'm sure I'll buy it, and watch the film for the 3rd or 4th time, while thinking about Sarah, and remembering the last time the film's images fell on my eyes, on a February morning, back in 2006.