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New Mexico-made film shows grit of landscape

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By Kelly Dolejsi

“Lonely Are the Brave” (1962, rated PG) takes viewers beyond the fences, where civilization means something very different and a horse is a man’s best friend.
“In the more than 60 films that I’ve made, this is my favorite,” wrote leading man Kirk Douglas in a 1989 letter to the Los Angeles Times, after the death of Edward Abbey. The film is based on Abbey’s novel, “The Brave Cowboy.”
Los Alamos audiences will have their chance to see why at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the upstairs meeting room at Mesa Public Library.
John W. Burns (Douglas) is an outlaw by nature. He lives alone, working as a ranch hand, riding his horse wherever the desert allows. He re-enters society in order to help his old friend Paul Bondi (Michael Kane), imprisoned for aiding illegal immigrants. He plans to get arrested for acting drunk and disorderly, and then while in the slammer, slip a file out of his cowboy boot so Bondi can break out.
Unfortunately, even the best-laid plans sometimes don’t work out, and Burns finds himself running from the sheriff (Walter Matthau), scampering with his horse Whisky up mountains no horse should ever ascend.
Will he make it? More interestingly, will he make it with his horse?


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