Based on a true story, The Brave One chronicled the unusual friendship between a Mexican boy and his adopted bull. It was an interesting spin on the classic “boy and his dog” formula, one that endeared this little film to the hearts of viewers everywhere.
During a fierce rainstorm, young ranchero Leonardo saves the life of a bull he names Gitano. The two form a close bond as the boy raises his new companion, but when the ranch owner dies, Gitano is sold with the rest of the stock to fight in the Plaza de Mexico bullring.
The boy’s tender pleas for his friend’s life earns a pardon from the President, but not before the bull is committed to a match up with legendary matador Fermin Rivera (playing himself in the film), leading to a suspenseful conclusion.
Simple and touching, the movie was a children’s story with adult themes and ideas.
The screenplay won a Best Story Oscar for Robert Rich, who turned out to be blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (the award was finally claimed in 1975).