The film was considered groundbreaking at the time because it portrayed the Native American Indians in a humane light, something that had scarcely happened since silent days. However, years later the film was heavily criticized because the Indians were still played by white actors.
The Battle at Apache Pass (1952) starred Jeff Chandler as Cochise and Jay Silverheels as Geronimo. It was produced later than "Broken Arrow" but functions as a prequel to it. The events in "Broken Arrow" take place in 1871 and 1872, while those in "Apache Pass" happen in 1861 and 1862.