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Broken Lance (1954)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 25 September 1954 (USA)
The saga of the Devereaux rancher family, set in 1880's Arizona.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (story)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Joe Devereaux
...
Barbara
...
Ben Devereaux
...
Señora Devereaux
...
Mike Devereaux
...
Two Moons
...
Denny Devereaux
...
Horace - The Governor
Carl Benton Reid ...
Clem Lawton
...
Van Cleve
Robert Burton ...
Mac Andrews
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Storyline

Cattle baron Matt Devereaux raids a copper smelter that is polluting his water, then divides his property among his sons. Son Joe takes responsibility for the raid and gets three years in prison. Matt dies from a stroke partly caused by his rebellious sons and when Joe gets out he plans revenge. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fury of the West's Most Lawless Feud!

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

25 September 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arizona  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm optical prints)| (35 mm magnetic prints) (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(DeLuxe)|

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spencer Tracy was borrowed by Fox from M-G-M, for the production. See more »

Goofs

Senora Devereaux's dress changes colour in different shots as she stands at the gate talking to Matt Devereaux. See more »

Quotes

Mike Devereaux: He'll cool down... and when he does he'll make the deal. He's too smart not to. Ain't that right, Ben?
Ben Devereaux: I don't know. But anybody that throws $10,000 in a spittoon makes me nervous.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sunny Side Up (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Familiar drama with awesome acting , colorful scenarios and rousing score
20 December 2012 | by See all my reviews

This is an enjoyable and luxurious remake from ¨House of strangers¨ in Western style . Cattle baron Matt Devereaux (magnificent Spencer Tracy as the ruthless wealthy owner who sadly contends his sons) is a widower who married an Indian woman (Katy Jurado , though plays Robert Wagner's mother in the film, she was only six years older than him in real life) . The Irish Matt is an egocentric and tyrannical self-made man that raises his family in an environment of hatred . He raids a copper smelter that is polluting his water . As Deveraux swears vengeance on those who have poised his stock . Half-breed son named Joe (Robert Wagner) takes responsibility for the raid and gets three years in jail . Serious conflicts arouse which split the family , as Ben Deveraux (Richard Widmark) attempts to divide the property among his brothers .

This over-the-top film contains intense drama , racial slur , familiar confrontation with dramatic taking on among father-sons and being beautifully realized . Interesting screenplay by Richard Murphy , based on a story by prestigious Philip Yordan . Good and agreeable Western that details the dissolution of a despotic cattle baron's family with King Lear's Shakespeare touches . The picture with exciting plot displays elements of Greek tragedy and a touching finale . It results to be a peculiar version about confrontation between father and brothers ; theme to be treated in other Hollywood films such as ¨House of strangers¨ (1949) also written by Philip Yordan , being directed by Joseph L Mankiewicz with Edward G Robinson (Spencer Tracy role), Luther Adler (Richard Widmark character) , Efrem Zimbalist (Hugh O'Brian role) and Richard Conte (Robert Wagner role) . Spencer Tracy's tour-de-force performance in the climactic courtroom scene was so powerful that it completely captivated the onlooking film crewmen . Richard Widmark as the oldest and meanest brother , in a smaller part that you'd expected from his billing , is nevertheless excellent as a bad guy . The other siblings are played by naive young Robert Wagner , tough Hugh o'Brian and slow witted Earl Holliman . Romantic interest is supplied by the ever vivacious and lovely Jean Peters who married Howard Hughes . Besides , an excellent plethora of secondary actors as Katy Jurado , E.G Marshall , Eduard Franz . Musical score well composed and conducted by Leigh Harline is impressive ; including catching leitmotif and enjoyable sounds from Western . Colorful and evocative cinematography in Cinemascope by Joseph MacDonald .

The motion picture well produced by the great producers Sol C. Siegel , Darryl F. Zanuck was stunningly directed by Edward Dmytryck . A veteran filmmaker, Dmytryck is one of Hollywood's most prolific directors who started his career in the early 40s . He was a craftsman whose career was interrupted by the activities of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), a congressional committee that employed ruthless tactics aimed at rooting out and destroying what it saw as Communist influence in Hollywood . A lifelong political leftist who had been a Communist Party member briefly during World War II, Dmytryk was one of the so-called "Hollywood Ten" who refused to cooperate with HUAC and had their careers disrupted or ruined as a result. The committee threw him in prison for refusing to cooperate, and after having spent several months behind bars , Dmytryk decided to cooperate . Dmytrick's biggest film was ¨The Caine Mutiny¨ , but he also realized another mutiny film titled : ¨Mutiny¨ with Angela Lansbury . Edward was an expert on warlike genre as ¨Back to Batan¨ , ¨Battle of Anzio¨ , ¨Young lions¨ and Western as ¨Broken lance¨ , ¨Alvarez Kelly¨ , ¨Warlock¨ among others . Rating : 7 , better than average . It's recommended for Western enthusiasts and Spencer Tracy fans .


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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