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Bright Leaves

  • Drama
  • Comedy
  • 2003
  • Ross McElwee
  • 107 mins
  • PG

Summary

McElwee family legend has it that the Hollywood melodrama "Bright Leaf" starring Gary Cooper as a 19th century tobacco grower, is based on filmmaker Ross McElwee's great-grandfather, who created the Bull Durham brand.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

Film-maker Ross McElwee's reputation for personal documentaries with a wider scope (such as 1986's Sherman's March) is reinforced with this investigation into his North Carolina family's role in the tobacco business. McElwee seeks to establish whether the character played by Gary Cooper in Michael Curtiz's 1950 melodrama Bright Leaf was based on his great-grandfather. As he does so, he ends up considering everything from cinematic licence through the capricious nature of history to public health. Dotting his treatise with archive material and home movies, he avoids the temptation to preach by approaching his subject with wry, self-deprecating sagacity. The result is disarmingly charming.

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Ross McElweeRoss McElwee
Patricia NealPatricia Neal
Charleen SwanseaCharleen Swansea

Crew

rolename
DirectorRoss McElwee

Details

Theatrical distributor
ICA Projects
Released on
2004-10-08
Languages
English
Formats
Colour
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