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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.

Director:

Edward Dmytryk

Writers:

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

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Spencer Tracy ... Matt Devereaux
Robert Wagner ... Joe Devereaux
Jean Peters ... Barbara
Richard Widmark ... Ben Devereaux
Katy Jurado ... Señora Devereaux
Hugh O'Brian ... Mike Devereaux
Eduard Franz ... Two Moons
Earl Holliman ... Denny Devereaux
E.G. Marshall ... Horace - The Governor
Carl Benton Reid ... Clem Lawton
Philip Ober ... 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:

Feuding Factions on the Roaring Frontier! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

25 September 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La lance brisée See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (35 mm optical prints)| 4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For the original screenplay, the film was inspired by another movie: House Of Strangers, written by Philip Yordan. But Broken Lance screenplay was not written by Yordan who eventually received the award for this latest film. See more »

Goofs

When Barbara visits Joe in prison, he angrily leaves her and when he grabs the iron bar cell door, it visibly shakes and wobbles. No iron bar door in prison is constructed shabbily enough to do that. See more »

Quotes

Van Cleve: I now ask you, sir, do you remember the names Charlie Monger, Red Dog Johnson or Carlos Rameriez?
Matt Devereaux: No.
Van Cleve: The incident may be too trivial to recall. But isn't it true that you summarily hanged three of these men on the afternoon of June 4th?
Matt Devereaux: They were stealing my cattle!
Van Cleve: I thought you didn't remember them.
Matt Devereaux: I didn't ask their names!
Van Cleve: You just hanged 'em?
Matt Devereaux: By the neck until they were dead. They were thieves!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Marty (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

 
That Dysfunctional Deveraux Family
7 November 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Broken Lance is a western remake of All My Sons which unfortunately does not live up to the original. A pity because the talented cast certainly worked hard in this film.

This is the second time that Spencer Tracy played a cattle baron, the first being in Sea of Grass. But he was far more sympathetic there than he is in Broken Lance. In both films he has family troubles and he's wrong in his solution in both.

He's got four sons, three by a wife who died two years after Tracy settled in the west and started building his cattle empire. Tracy remarries, this time to an Indian princess and has another son.

Maybe because his mother's still around, he favors his youngest son and just treats the others like garbage for no real reason. Maybe he just enjoys pitting Richard Widmark, Hugh O'Brian, and Earl Holliman against Robert Wagner for his own sadistic amusement. He also employs her relations as hands on the ranch so he has to keep good relations with the tribe, so he can't treat the youngest like the others.

But whatever reason you kind of understand where the other three are coming from. Even when Widmark later tells Tracy how he didn't enjoy having an Indian squaw for a step mom, the racism in the remark still doesn't tip it back to Tracy and Wagner. Wagner WAS his little pet as Widmark pointed out to him.

Plot begins with Wagner being released from prison after taking a fall for the father. As he decides his next move, the film unfolds in flashback.

A great cast here supports the Deveraux men. Katy Jurado as Wagner's mom is impressive in a thankless role, she loves her husband, but you can see she realizes the mess he's made of the family. Eduard Franz is a good as Robert Wagner's Indian relation and eventual life saver.

Think Bonanza and how much better Ben Cartright dealt with the issue of half siblings.


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