26 November 2015 | bkoganbing
The Brave Gitano
An excellent picture The Brave One has come down in history as an example of the incredible stupidity and hypocrisy of the blacklist. With Dalton Trumbo's struggle now a subject of a major motion picture a new and hopefully more enlightened audience can appreciate this wonderful film.
I'll leave it to the professional communist hunters to sniff out any left wing Marxist propaganda in The Brave One. All I saw is a touching film from RKO set in Mexico with no major or even minor American stars in it about a young boy who wants to save his beloved pet, a bull named Gitano who is raised as a fighting bull which means he gets one appearance only in the arena to die at the hands of a matador. Young Michel Ray is the boy Miguel and his father is Mexican film star Rodolfo Hoyos who did a few film appearances north of the Mexican border.
Young Ray is so determined to save his bull from slaughter he goes to none other than the President of Mexico to gain pardon for his bull. After that it's a tense race against time played against the background of Gitano giving his best against one of Mexico's best matadors. The bullfight scenes are outstanding and outstandingly photographed.
But a lot of this film is carried on the performance of Michel Ray who comes over so much like a real kid not just another kid actor. One of the best performances by a juvenile ever in the history of motion pictures and sad he did not receive any recognition for same.
I found it ironical that it was RKO on its last legs as a studio that produced this film. Just a couple of years earlier it was owned by Howard Hughes who got tired of it and gave it up to die a lingering death. Had Hughes still been in charge no way would The Brave One been done at his studio even with a pseudonym for a blacklisted writer.
That's how most people know The Brave One today when a later embarrassed Academy gave an Oscar to "Robert Rich" for Best Original Screenplay. It was Dalton Trumbo one of the infamous Hollywood 10 who wrote it, but it was after the award was given that that fact was discovered. That kind of hypocrisy exposed could have also had a large part in giving the blacklist an ignominious death. Maybe as much as Trumbo being hired openly to write the screenplay for Spartacus.
Shame on the studio bosses who while they supported getting these subversives out of Hollywood they also did not want to lose their talents either.
With Trumbo's own life now a motion picture maybe his work will get more critical review and The Brave One should be a standout there.