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Broken Arrow (1950)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Romance, Western  |  August 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 5,114 users  
Reviews: 52 user | 25 critic

Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Basil Ruysdael ...
Joyce Mackenzie ...
Terry (as Joyce MacKenzie)
Arthur Hunnicutt ...
Milt Duffield


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 | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

peace | settler | mail | 1870s | stone | See All (137) »


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


Drama | Romance | Western


Approved | See all certifications »



Release Date:

August 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arrow  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie's world premiere was held in the Nusho Theater in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. See more »


When General Oliver is beginning to pick himself off the ground after the Apache attack on the military wagon train, the first shot shows the ground to be mostly desert sand, with very little vegetation. But when the scene jumps to a long shot of the General getting up the ground around him is almost entirely covered with green vegetation, showing scarcely any sand at all. See more »


[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.
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Featured in 20th Century-Fox: The First 50 Years (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

A thoughtful classic unlike others of its era
25 June 1999 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

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

Worth repeating this tagline, because after seeing the film again for the first time in 42 years, it's right on. 50s westerns almost universally depicted Indians as pigeon-English speaking savages... or tried to talk Indian that translated to pigeon-Indian.

While the leading cast is all-Anglo, the perspective is that both sides in the Wild West were had more than a few intelligent, caring individuals among them. A willingness to sacrifice much (including renegades) to achieve a lasting peace is the message.

Jimmy Stewart had something to lose by doing a picture like this, but the acting here stands with any in his career. The portrayal of Cochise by Jeff Chandler is powerful, although unquestionably a little bit too noble-savagish.

"Let's mosey on over there" is a line spoken by Stewart toward the end of the film. Takes you back to a time when people took time to mosey.

A good-hearted picture by a little-known director standing up against the prevailing stereotypes. Wouldn't be surprised if Costner watched it more than once before making "Dances with Wolves".

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