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Bright Leaf (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 July 1950 (USA)
In 1894, Brant Royle shocks the aristocratic tobacco growers of Kingsmont by planning to mass-produce cigarettes.

Director:

Michael Curtiz

Writers:

Ranald MacDougall (screenplay), Foster Fitzsimmons (novel) (as Foster Fitz-Simons)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Brant Royle
Lauren Bacall ... Sonia Kovac
Patricia Neal ... Margaret Jane Singleton
Jack Carson ... Chris Malley - Dr. Monaco
Donald Crisp ... Maj. James Singleton
Gladys George ... Rose
Elizabeth Patterson ... Tabitha Singleton
Jeff Corey ... John Barton
Taylor Holmes ... Calhoun - Lawyer
Thurston Hall ... Phillips
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Storyline

Once, magnate Major Singleton ran the Royles out of the Kingsmont tobacco country for daring to make lowly cigarettes. Now in 1894, Brant Royle, last of his name, is back. Forceful and macho, Brant intends to re-establish his family no matter what it takes. Two lovely women have waited for him: bordello keeper Sonia, with love; Singleton's daughter Margaret, with hatred and desire. As automation rears its head, the struggle attains an epic quality. Will Royle Cigarettes flood the market? Will Brant pick the wrong woman? Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bright Leaf See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the last film in Lauren Bacall's seven-year contract with Warner Brothers. See more »

Goofs

When Brant is lying at the bottom of the stairs as the fire begins in Singleton house, the servant runs to him. In a brief shot, we see Brant raising his arm as if he is coming to and beginning to get up, but in the next shot, as the servant reaches him, he is still lying flat as if still knocked out. See more »

Quotes

Major Singleton: I'm afraid I don't believe in cigarettes, much less a machine for makin' them. It turns my stomach, sir, every time I have occasion to witness someone pokin' one of those vile concoctions into their face. I deal in cigars, sir. Nothing less.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bright Leaves (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

You Tell Me Your Dream, I'll Tell You Mine
(uncredited)
Music by Neil Moret (as Chas. N. Daniels)
Lyrics by Seymour Rice and Albert H. Brown
Sung by the girls at the birthday party
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User Reviews

 
Big southern drama that falls flat
26 August 2010 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

"Bright Leaf" is a 1950 Warner Brothers southern extravaganza starring Gary Cooper, Lauren Bacall, Patricia Neal, and Jack Carson.

Gary Cooper is Brant Royle, who in 1894 returns to his southern town of Kingsmont, where his family was driven out of the tobacco market by Major Singleton (Donald Crisp). Royle has returned to get his revenge and reinstate the family name in the area. There are two women in his life: a madam, Sonia (Lauren Bacall) and Singleton's beautiful daughter Margaret (Patricia Neal).

With the help of Sonia, Royle buys into a machine that actually rolls cigarettes, which drives down the cost of producing them. He eventually takes over nearly the entire tobacco industry. But Royle won't be happy until he has brought Major Singleton to his knees and marries Margaret. But in his determination to get what he wants, he loses even more.

The moral of "Bright Leaf" is two-fold: Beware of what you want; and big talent won't really help a mediocre movie. The novel was probably inspired by "Gone with the Wind," but the quality of the story - in the film, at least - doesn't come close. There are two likable characters - Sonia and Carson's role of Chris. The rest of the main characters are odious.

Patricia Neal and Gary Cooper were in the midst of their passionate affair, but the relationship between the characters they play is pretty frosty. Given their romance, perhaps the Bacall role would have been better for Neal. Bacall took this job to finish off her contract with Warners. She's good, but her character isn't really fleshed out. Cooper is a great presence, but he has a difficult job because the character is not sympathetic. Also, I suspect that at age 50, the character was supposed to be younger. Neal is beautiful, and her performance has some real bite.

All in all, not up to the talents on screen.


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