Bright Leaf (1950)
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as Brant Royle
as Sonia Kovac
as Margaret Jane Single...
as Chris Malley (Dr. Mo...
as Maj. James Singleton
as Tabitha Jackson
as John Barton
as Lawyer Calhoun
as Black Peddler
as Tobacco Auctioneer
as Black Boy
as Cousin Arthur
as Farmer's Son
as Cousin Louise
as Cousin Theodora
as Black Peddler
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Critic Reviews for Bright Leaf
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Audience Reviews for Bright Leaf
A forgotten gem from Michael Curtiz, here is a story about a sharecropper's son (Gary Cooper) who wrangles his way into the fledgling cigarette game with a machine to roll the smokes instead of the old fashioned way, by hand, saving money, making money. Soon he's up against the old tobacco money crowd, cigars only, thank you, and none too appreciative of the new kid on the block, white trash. Along the way is the woman who's always loved him (Bacall) versus the one who only thinks of him as a cheap walk on the wild side, old money (Neal). Coop doesn't pull off white trash too well, the major flaw in the piece, but otherwise a competent entry by populist Curtiz.
When he looks at me, I know I am a woman.
A young man grows up next to a young lady in the south. Both of their parents are landowners with large estates, but the girl's family is rich, the boy's family is poor, and the parents do not get along at all. The boy never pursues his dream of dating the girl. The boy grows up to become an entrepreneur of sorts, and sleeps often with another local town girl. He won't settle down with the girl he sleeps with. One day, he develops a get rich plan, and asks the girl he is sleeping with to help him financially, deep down she hopes if it works out, he will marry her, but she knows it isn't likely...and she's right. He gets rich, proposes to his childhood sweetheart, and forms a life with her. The young man believes his life is now set, but karma may circle back and kick him in the butt.
"Are you a dangerous man?"
"I get what I want if you think that's dangerous."
Michael Curtiz, director of Casablanca, White Christmas, Mildred Pierce, The Adventures of Robin Hood, the Vagabond King, Yankee Doodle Dandee, and Captain Blood, delivers Virginia City. The storyline for this picture is very compelling and actually reminded me of Gone with the Wind. I found all of the characters to be annoying at times, but all of their stories were fascinating. The acting was excellent and the cast includes Gary Cooper, Lauren Bacall, Patricia Neal, Jack Carson, and Donald Crisp.
I DVR'd this picture because it was directed by the great Michael Curtiz (one of my all time favorite directors). I had procrastinated on watching this for a little while, but was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful characters, up and down storyline, and the ultimate conclusion. This is definitely a must see picture that should be mentioned in the same breath as Gone with the Wind and Casablanca.
"Don't I know you from someplace?"
"I've never been there."
I thought the film was quite well done. Overall the at least the main characters were able to hold their parts together enough to keep the audience involved. Curtiz did a good job creating an epic tale of love and compromise that was an entertaining film to watch.
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