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(From the Dec/Jan Zephyr) Lonely are the Brave: Revisited…by Jim Stiles

An excerpt:

I was a kid, maybe ten or eleven and at home alone one evening with a bowl of popcorn and the TV. I’d turned the channel to NBC to catch that week’s presentation of “Saturday Night at the Movies.” It was a western, a film I’d never heard of, ‘Lonely Are The Brave,’ starring Kirk Douglas and Walter Mattheau. As the opening scene played out, I assumed it was set in the Old West, that it was another ‘Wyatt Earp/Gunsmoke’ kind of movie. But when Douglas, as ‘Jack Burns,’ leans back to savor his hand rolled smoke and offer a few soothing words to his horse Whiskey, the desert silence is disrupted by something out of place. Burns reluctantly lifts his eyes to the sky, not out of surprise but bitter resignation, to the sight of a squadron of screaming jet aircraft, their contrails fouling a faultless New Mexico sky.

This story wasn’t taking place in 1882…this was 1962—the “Modern West,” and Jack Burns was trapped in it. The film was about a world he loved—his beloved West—but a world that was fast spinning out of control


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