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Broken Arrow
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Broken Arrow (1950) More at IMDbPro »

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Broken Arrow -- In 1870, when white men and Indians are fighting bitterly, Tom Jeffords (James Stewart) strongly believes the Apaches are treated unfairly. After befriending their leader Cochise (Jeff Chandler) and arranging a truce, he is called upon by a U.S. Army general to negotiate a government peace treaty. Though he fulfills his mission, Jeffords soon experiences great tragedy when he, his Indian wife (Debra Paget) and good friend Cochise become targets of a renegade ambush.


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7.2/10   5,330 votes »
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Up 1% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Elliott Arnold (novel)
Albert Maltz (screenplay) (front Michael Blankfort)
View company contact information for Broken Arrow on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
August 1950 (USA) See more »
Of this motion picture the screen can be proud... Today... Tomorrow... A generation from now...
Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
(10 articles)
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User Reviews:
not the usual western movie See more (54 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert Adler ... Lonergan - Stage Driver (uncredited)

Trevor Bardette ... Stage Passenger (uncredited)
Chris Willow Bird ... Nochalo (uncredited)
Raymond Bramley ... Col. Bernall (uncredited)
Chet Brandenburg ... Miner (uncredited)

Argentina Brunetti ... Nalikadeya - Cochise's Wife (uncredited)
Harry Carter ... Miner (uncredited)

Iron Eyes Cody ... Teese (uncredited)
J.W. Cody ... Pionsenay - Chosen Warrior (uncredited)
Heinie Conklin ... Townsman (uncredited)
Dolores Christine Cypert ... American Indian / Redbird (uncredited)
Aubrey Lee Dale ... Indian (uncredited)

John Doucette ... Mule Driver (uncredited)
Robert Foster Dover ... Machogee (uncredited)
Nacho Galindo ... Barber (uncredited)
Robert Griffin ... John Lowrie (uncredited)
Jack Kenny ... Townsman (uncredited)
Bob Kortman ... Minor Role (uncredited)
Mickey Kuhn ... Bob Slade (uncredited)
Jack Lee ... Boucher (uncredited)
Ted Mapes ... Mail Rider (uncredited)
John Marston ... Maury (uncredited)
Frank McGrath ... Barfly (uncredited)
Charles Morton ... Townsman (uncredited)
Edwin Rand ... Sergeant (uncredited)
Allen D. Sewall ... Barfly (uncredited)

Jay Silverheels ... Geronimo (uncredited)
Charles Soldani ... Skinyea - Chosen Warrior (uncredited)
Richard Van Opel ... Bernall's Adjutant (uncredited)
John War Eagle ... Nahilzay (uncredited)
Billy Wilkerson ... Juan (uncredited)
Bud Wolfe ... Man Saying '...or a Blasted Liar' (uncredited)

Directed by
Delmer Daves 
Writing credits
Elliott Arnold (novel "Blood Brother")

Albert Maltz (screenplay) (front Michael Blankfort)

Michael Blankfort (front for Albert Maltz)

Produced by
Julian Blaustein .... producer
Original Music by
Hugo Friedhofer 
Cinematography by
Ernest Palmer (director of photography)
Film Editing by
J. Watson Webb Jr. 
Art Direction by
Albert Hogsett 
Lyle R. Wheeler  (as Lyle Wheeler)
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little (set decorations)
Fred J. Rode (set decorations)
Costume Design by
René Hubert (costumes designed by) (as Rene Hubert)
Makeup Department
Ben Nye .... makeup artist
Stephanie Garland .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Stanley Goldsmith .... unit production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jasper Blystone .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Bernard Freericks .... sound
Harry M. Leonard .... sound
Visual Effects by
Fred Sersen .... special photographic effects
Ted Mapes .... stunt double: James Stewart (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Curt Fetters .... camera operator (uncredited)
Al St. Hilaire .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Charles Le Maire .... wardrobe director
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Lyman Hallowell .... apprentice editor (uncredited)
Music Department
Alfred Newman .... musical director
Edward B. Powell .... orchestration (as Edward Powell)
Other crew
Leonard Doss .... Technicolor color consultant
Harry Brand .... director of publicity (uncredited)
Jenifer Chatfield .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Al Leman .... archery expert (uncredited)
Richard von Opel .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Marvin Weldon .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
93 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Argentina:13 | Australia:G (DVD rating) | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Finland:K-12 | Germany:16 (DVD rating) | Germany:12 (f) | Norway:A (1957) | Portugal:M/12 (Qualidade) | UK:U (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (tv rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1998) (2005) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #13926)

Did You Know?

The film was considered groundbreaking at the time because it was one of the first sound films to portray Native American Indians in a humane light. Years later, the film was criticized because white actors played Indians, but the role of Geronimo in fact was played by Native Canadian Mohawk actor Jay Silverheels.See more »
Continuity: 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.
See more »
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53 out of 65 people found the following review useful.
not the usual western movie, 7 June 2000
Author: dave fitz ( from somerset, nj

Although the story is entertaining and the performances of James Stewart, Jeff Chandler and Debra Paget outstanding, what makes Broken Arrow a landmark film is its portrayal of the Apache Indians as something more than savage killers. Indians in the movies were always seen as brutal and inhuman. Here they are seen as people who want what the "white men" wanted: to live in freedom with their families on their own land and to live their lives in their own way.

Jeff Chandler is terrific as Apache leader Cochise, who he would play twice more in other films. There is a moving scene when they return from battle and he recites the names of those killed with a pained look in his eyes. Cochise and Stewart's character have a relationship which grows from mutual respect to a true friendship as they try to work out peace between the whites and indians. Stewart is looked on as a traitor by his friends and things are complicated further by his relationship with the young Apache girl played by Debra Paget.

I cannot think of another western in which indians have been portrayed as real people with emotions who hurt, who love. When this film was released 50 years ago, blacks, asians and American Indians were still being portrayed using the worst kinds of racial stereotypes.

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