Broken Arrow (1950) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • 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.

  • Based on the real-life efforts of Tom Jeffords, this film dramatizes his efforts to make peace with Apache chief Cochise. After helping a young Indian boy, Cochise sets Jeffords free leading him to think that there may be a way to make peace in the war that has now lasted nearly 10 years. He takes time to learn their language and customs and then sets out to see if they can get safe passage for the mail riders who are always being ambushed. He succeeds, developing a mutual respect with the Apache leader. Not everyone is in favor of the deal with some settlers as well as Apaches refusing to go along and intent on doing what they can to break the peace. Jeffords pays a high price because of those efforts but his perseverance did lead to several conflict-free years.

  • Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches.


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