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Broken Arrow (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | August 1950 (USA)
Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches in Arizona territory.

Director:

Delmer Daves

Writers:

Elliott Arnold (novel), Albert Maltz (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Wagon train survivors of an Apache attack entrust the sheriff's prisoner, scout Comanche Todd, with their lives despite his wanted-for-murder status.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Stewart ... Tom Jeffords
Jeff Chandler ... Cochise
Debra Paget ... Sonseeahray
Basil Ruysdael ... Gen. Oliver Howard
Will Geer ... Ben Slade
Joyce Mackenzie ... Terry (as Joyce MacKenzie)
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Milt Duffield
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Storyline

By 1870, there has been 10 years of cruel war between settlers and Cochise's Apaches. Ex-soldier Tom Jeffords saves the life of an Apache boy and starts to wonder if Indians are human, after all; soon, he determines to use this chance to make himself an ambassador. Against all odds, his solitary mission into Cochise's stronghold opens a dialogue. Opportunely, the president sends General Howard with orders to conclude peace. But even with Jeffords's luck, the deep grievance and hatred on both sides make tragic failure all too likely. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Of this motion picture the screen can be proud... Today... Tomorrow... A generation from now...

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Release Date:

August 1950 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Blood Brothers See more »

Filming Locations:

Sonoran Desert, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$10,145
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The broken arrow, which signals an end to fighting, is in fact a Blackfoot Indian symbol, not an Apache symbol. The Blackfoot are native to Montana and Alberta, Canada. See more »

Goofs

At 13:30, awhile explaining his coming across an Apache boy Stewart finishes his drink, at 13:53 Stewart reaches for his glass on the table and you can see it has a drink in it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[opening narration]
Tom Jeffords: This is the story of a land, of the people who lived on it in the year 1870, and of a man whose name was Cochise. He was an Indian - leader of the Chiricahua Apache tribe. I was involved in the story and what I have to tell happened exactly as you'll see it - the only change will be that when the Apaches speak, they will speak in our language. What took place is part of the history of Arizona and it began for me here where you see me riding.
See more »

Connections

Followed by The Battle at Apache Pass (1952) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Delmer Daves offers an important major role to an Indian character, treating him with quality and esteem as human being...
17 April 2005 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Delmer Daves offers an important major role to an Indian character, treating him with quality and esteem as human being...

Stewart plays a scout who seeks to heal the divisions between the Apaches and white men… But while "Broken Arrow" is a perfectly acceptable depiction of frontier struggles, it does not display Stewart to the best advantages… Delmer Daves was competent enough, but he lacked the ultimate virility and intensity of Anthony Mann…

"Broken Arrow" examines, rather intensely and directly, the mistreatment and flagrant exploitation of the Indians by whites in the early West…

The strength of this often lyrically photographed picture which will a1ways have an honorable place among Westerns lies particularly in the touching dignity of Stewart's love and marriage to an Indian girl (Debra Paget). Indian haters, of course, stir up the usual sort of trouble and Stewart's bride becomes a victim with all the consequent poignancy for which the film is best remembered…

The over-wise Chandler counsels him that he must learn to live with his whiteness just as his new friends must contend with their own place in the cosmic scheme of things… Cochise has words of stark consolation for Stewart: "As I bear the murder of my people, so you will bear the murder of your wife."

The most interesting aspect of " Broken Arrow" is not the interracial romance between Stewart and Paget, but Stewart's relationship with Chandler's Cochise… There is intra-character complexity here, as Chandler struggles to overcome his disturb of all whites, and Stewart attempts to comprehend the different philosophy and cultural of the Indians…

Jeff Chandler was quite apt and professional… He was so believable in the role of the Apache chief Cochise that he was to essay it again in George Sherman's "The Battle at Apache Pass" in 1952… Chandler's facial bone structure lent itself to noble, incisive Indian profiles, and unlike other Caucasian actors he did not look out of place… He was even nominated for Best Supporting Actor at that year's Oscars


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