Only the Brave (1930 Film)
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Only the Brave 1930 Film
Only the Brave
Only the Brave 1930 Publicity Photo.jpg
Publicity photo
Directed byFrank Tuttle
Produced byHector Turnbull
Written byRichard H. Digges Jr. (titles)
Story by
Music by
CinematographyHarry Fischbeck
Edited byDoris Drought
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • March 8, 1930 (1930-03-08) (USA)
Running time
66 minutes
8 reels, 6,024 ft[1]
CountryUnited States

Only the Brave is a 1930 American Pre-Code Civil War drama film directed by Frank Tuttle and starring Gary Cooper, Mary Brian, and Phillips Holmes.

Written by Agnes Brand Leahy, Edward E. Paramore Jr., Keene Thompson, and Richard H. Digges Jr., the film is about a Union Army captain who travels into Confederate territory as a spy with false dispatches hoping to mislead the Confederate forces. His mission is complicated when he falls in love with a southern woman who comes to his aid. Produced by Hector Turnbull for Paramount Pictures, Only the Brave was released on March 8, 1930 in the United States.[2]


During the American Civil War, Capt. James Braydon (Gary Cooper) visits his sweetheart and finds her with another man. Angered by the betrayal, he volunteers to become a spy for the Union. His first assignment involves carrying false military dispatches behind enemy lines and allow them to be discovered by Confederate Army officers in order to mislead them. Braydon sets off on his dangerous mission.

Pretending to be a Confederate sympathizer in possession of vital Union plans, Braydon arrives at the plantation of a beautiful southern belle, Barbara Calhoun (Mary Brian), who has organized a ball for Confederate officers. At the ball, Braydon openly flirts with his gracious host in order to make one of the Confederate officers, Capt. Robert Darrington (Phillips Holmes), jealous. Darrington is in love with Barbara, and Braydon believes that if he can make him jealous, he will be arrested and his fraudulent dispatches will be discovered. Braydon's plan is disrupted, however, by Barbara who comes to his defense, and soon falls in love with him.

In the coming days, Barbara continues to save Braydon from being arrested, even after she discovers that he is a Union spy. Each time he attempts to get arrested, she intervenes and arranges for his release. Finally, Braydon leaps from a window and is captured by the Confederates, who discover the fraudulent dispatches and soon act on them. Later, after they discover that the dispatches were a deception, they order Braydon executed by firing squad. Just before the sentence can be carried out, the Union Army arrives, and in the subsequent battle, Braydon is saved, although seriously wounded. Barbara is there to comfort him.

Sometime later, after General Lee surrenders at Appomattox Court House to end the war, Barbara and Braydon are married in a military wedding.



Only the Brave was filmed at Paramount Studios at 5555 Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. The films stars, Gary Cooper and Mary Brian, also appeared together in The Virginian (1929).

Critical response

Only the Brave received positive reviews upon its theatrical release. In the Reading Eagle, the reviewer wrote that Cooper's performance in the film was "far better" than his "previously satisfactory best" in The Virginian.[3] The reviewer continued:

There is something about this tall Montana youth that seems to mark him as the most perfect American type. He is virile and gallant, but yet not given to thunderous outpourings of unseemly emotion. His quiet courage inspires hero-worship in the hearts of all who behold him and hear him in his masterful work upon the talking screen.[3]

The reviewer also felt that Mary Brian was effective in reprising her role as Cooper's love interest, as she did in The Virginian.[3]


  1. ^ "Only the Brave (1930): Original Print Information". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Only the Brave (1930)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "Gary Cooper, Only the Brave, State". The Reading Eagle. March 9, 1930. Retrieved 2014.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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