The Brave One
The Touch of Greatness
A young Mexican boy tirelessly tries to save his pet bull from death at the hands of a celebrated matador.
Considering all the things The Brave One has working in its favor, it's odd its Oscar win is for Best Motion Picture Story — the film's weakest element. A young boy's irrational attachment to his pet bull isn't something we can invest much in; it's one of the oddest animals to center a family film around. It's not just that the bull is not a cute animal, but the brutality of bullfighting hardly seems appropriate for the age range this targets. The sentimentality of a crying kid trying to save his dangerous, aggressive pet is lost on me.
Nevertheless, it's wonderfully photographed and scored brilliantly by Victor Young. The other two Oscar bids were deserving, for tight editing and varied sound that includes car races, bullfights and a cougar attack.
Who can resist a story about a boy and his bull? This appealingly sentimental story about a boy who tries to keep a bull he loves from dying in the bullfighting ring overcomes a series of ludicrous events leading up to the climax by having everything ride on the results of a thrilling climactic bullfight. Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo was living in exile in Mexico when he wrote the story for this, and it shows in the unusually sympathetic and respectful depiction of the country. Trumbo won on Oscar for his story using the pseudonym Robert Rich.