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Broken Arrow (1950)

Approved | | Drama, Romance, Western | August 1950 (USA)
Tom Jeffords tries to make peace between settlers and Apaches in Arizona territory.

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(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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
... Tom Jeffords
... Cochise
... Sonseeahray
... Gen. Oliver Howard
... Ben Slade
... Terry (as Joyce MacKenzie)
... Milt Duffield
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Release Date:

August 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arrow  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The broken arrow, which signals an end to fighting, is in fact a Blackfoot Indian symbol, not an Apache symbol. The Blackfoot are native to Montana and Alberta, Canada. See more »

Goofs

Jeffords encounters a wounded Apache boy. Even though he used his knife to dig out 8 buckshot rounds from the boy's back, days later there are no marks on his bare back. See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Version of The 20th Century-Fox Hour: Broken Arrow (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

 
not the usual western movie
7 June 2000 | by See all my reviews

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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