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directed by Philip Leacock

UK 1952


The Brave Don't Cry (1952) a reconstruction of a disaster at Knockshinnoch Castle Colliery, Ayrshire, in 1950, dramatises the tense events of the rescue of miners trapped underground after a pit shaft was flooded and nine men were lost. The difficult and dangerous rescue of all the survivors was made through abandoned workings full of gas. The film features actors from the Glasgow Citizen's Theatre. Originally to be titled "What God Forgot", and made by John Grierson's Group 3 company it was premiered under its new title at the Edinburgh Film Festival in August 1952, with an invited audience of miners. It was also shown that year at the Venice Film Festival.


The Brave Don't Cry aspires to the "feel" of a documentary, right down to the deliberate absence of background music. A mine in Scotland falls victim to a cave-in, trapping some one hundred workers. Rescue parties are formed as the tremulous families of the miners wait in agony. As in the actual incident upon which this film is based, the rescue is nip and tuck and times, but eventually successful. The faces of real-life Scottish mining folk are melded with the professional actors in The Brave Don't Cry, adding poignancy to this otherwise cut-and-dried film.


Theatrical Release: August 1952

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DVD Review: Panamint Cinema - Region 2 - PAL

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Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:27:30 (4% PAL speedup)

1.37:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.5 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Panamint Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.37:1

Edition Details:
• Documenting John Grierson (29:03 in 1.85:1)
• The Terrible Price (28:07 in 1.85:1)
• The Terrible Price Interviews (30:27 in 1.85:1)

DVD Release Date: July 2014
Transparent Keep case

Chapters 9



I have a bit of a personal connection to this film as my grandfather was a Welsh miner who survived a Pit cave-in. Even aside from that, I thought The Brave Don't Cry was a fascinating, and well-made, film.


The transfer by Panamint is solid - dual-layered with minimal SD artifacts and no noise visible on my system. the visuals are pleasing with strong black levels and excellent contrast. The digital presentation is very consistent and even shows a smattering desirable film grain textures. The sound is likewise consistent - clean and audible. There are no subtitles on the region 2, PAL standard DVD disc.

There are some great extras in the package all remastered in broadcast quality. Documenting John Grierson runs 1/2 an hour and has Bill Paterson narrating this Hopscotch Films production of the life and work of the documentary pioneer. It was originally shown on BBC2 Scotland and includes interviews with some who Grierson influenced, including Alfred Hitchcock. The Terrible Price also runs about 30-minutes and is an independently produced documentary, screened by BBC2 Wales, to mark the 70th anniversary of the Gresford mining disaster in which 266 miners lost their lives. Panamint include another 1/2 hour's worth of interview extracts that, while not meeting broadcast requirements, tell us more about the vanished world of Welsh coal miners and their families.

I thoroughly enjoyed this DVD - there is a lot of information included with the excellent feature film. We give a strong buy recommendation. This is not a film you are likely to see elsewhere. Big thanks to Panamint for producing it.

  - Gary Tooze


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