The Brave Don't Cry

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The Brave Don't Cry
The Brave Don't Cry (1952 film).jpg
Directed by Philip Leacock
Screenplay by Montagu Slater
Lindsay Galloway (additional dialogue)
Produced by John Grierson (executive producer - Group 3)
Starring John Gregson
Meg Buchanan
Andrew Keir
Cinematography Arthur Grant
Edited byJohn Trumper
Music by John Wooldridge
Distributed by Associated British-Pathé (UK)
Release date
  • August 1952 (1952-08)(UK)
Running time
89 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Brave Don't Cry is a 1952 British drama film directed by Philip Leacock and starring John Gregson, Meg Buchanan and John Rae. [1] The film depicts the events of September 1950 at the Knockshinnoch Castle colliery in Scotland, where 129 men were trapped by a landslide (see Knockshinnoch Disaster September 1950). It was shot at Southall Studios and was also known by the alternative title Knockshinnoch Story. The filmmakers used actors from the Glasgow Citizens Theatre. [2] It was screened at the Venice Film Festival in September 1952.



A group of coalminers are trapped underground after a fall.

The story follows the trapped men, their rescuers, and their families as they struggle to dig them out before the oxygen is exhausted.

A phone line exists to the trapped men.

The efforts are hampered by firedamp.


Critical reception

In a contemporary review, The Monthly Film Bulletin wrote, "in its semi-documentary, semi-impersonal way The Brave Don't Cry is an estimable achievement, effectively sustaining the dramatic tension and sketching its characters with directness and a refreshing absence of mannerisms. Its limitations are the limitations of its genre - dramatic reportage rather than personal statement, observation without passion. The method works very well for many of the scenes, but the more emotional moments tend to seem either theatrical or (as in the case of Mrs. Sloan's reunion with her husband) conventionally understated. In its genre, though, the film stands quite high, and it gains greatly from the use of unfamiliar players. There are particularly good performances from Fulton Mackay, Jameson Clark, Jean Anderson and John Rae; and the folk song used over the credits and at the end - there is no background music - is highly effective." [3]

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  1. "The Brave Don't Cry (1952) - BFI". BFI. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009. Retrieved 30 July 2015.
  2. Harper & Porter p.187
  3. "The Brave Don't Cry (Philip Leacock, 1952)".