Broken Arrow Reviews
The true story of Tom Jeffords (played by James Stewart), who, in the early-1870s, negotiated a peace treaty between the Apache tribe, lead by Coshise (played by Jeff Chandler) and the US government.
Interesting from an historical perspective, and also from a purely dramatical perspective. Moreover, and rare for a 1950s movie, the Indians are portrayed in a positive light. Well, no worse a light than the white people.
However, some of the story appears dramatised, and some stuff is plain unnecessary. Moreover, it all feels a bit patronising towards Indians. Small steps, I guess, after how Indians were usually portrayed in Westerns.
Hard to fault any James Stewart performance and he does a good job here. However, his good-guy image and delivery goes a long way to create the patronising feel of the movie.
Filming started on 6 June 1949. It was primarily shot on location in northern Arizona, approximately 30 miles south of Flagstaff. Apaches from the Whiteriver agency on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation played themselves. Debra Paget was only 15 when she played the love interest to 41-year-old James Stewart.
The movie was based on the 558-page novel Blood Brother (1947) by Elliott Arnold, which told the story of the peace agreement between the Apache leader Cochise and the U.S. Army, 1855-1874. The studio employed nearly 240 Indians from Arizona's Fort Apache Indian Reservation; all location scenes were shot in Sedona, Arizona. (The story of Cochise actually occurred in what is now the Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona.) The studio attempted to portray Apache customs in the film, like the Social Dance and the Girl's Puberty Rite. For the character of Cochise, director Daves eliminated the traditional style of broken English and replaced it with conventional English so that whites and Indians would sound alike
i think that this is such a great westerns movie 2 watch, it is such a thrilling movie 2 watch, its got a great cast throughout this movie.....i think that this is such a great movie 2 watch, its got good fight scenes throughout this movie....it is such a thrilling movie 2 watch, i think that james stewart was fantastic throughout this movie.....its such a brilliant movie 2 watch, with a great cast throughout this movie.....
Broken Arrow was dramatized as an hour-long radio play on January 22, 1951, starring Burt Lancaster and Debra Paget. It was also presented as a half-hour broadcast of Screen Director's Playhouse on September 7, 1951, with James Stewart and Jeff Chandler in their original film roles. The film and novel also provided the basis for a television series of the same name that ran from 1956 through 1960, starring Michael Ansara as Cochise and John Lupton as Jeffords
The movie's world premiere was at the Nusho Theater in downtown Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
The Blackfoot Indians would use a broken arrow to signal that they would cease fighting
it is such a fantastic movie 2 watch, with a great cast throughout this movie......
Tom (James Stewart) heals a wounded Apache boy of 14-years on an Indian Territory, for this generous act he is released by the Apache. Tom befriends Cochise (Jeff Chandler), and takes him into confidence to allow stagecoaches, mail to pass-through, with mutual coexistence. However, not all on White-side believe in such truce.
This is an average classic western film, but it's pure in its struggle to define three sought-after words in proper western movies 'tolerance', 'harmony' and 'equality. I loved watching Jeff Chandler and Jimmy Stewart together. While, John Ford and John Wayne and many in their footsteps realized very late about portraying Native-Americans negatively, James Stewart did it quite early in his times. It is first post World-War-II film to depict Native-Americans in positive way, showing their courage of tolerance, and intention to live in harmony, while coping with loss of loved ones. Movies do play major role in brainwashing immature audience, and since the silent movies, there were many of such movies, which would often preach words like 'Barbarians' or 'Savages' for Native-Americans, forgetting to be noticed that at the end of the film "white community triumphs". But I always get excited when former foes make truce to be friends and work shoulder-by-shoulder. Some of us are bad some of us are good, and thus we must always endure pain to make all good.
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 2 nominations.
Regretably, it was typical back in the 50 and 60's and beyond, as white people played many of the parts as American native indians, especially Italians who seemed to corner the market on the roles in television.
Very recommended, as is most anything with James Stewart, in my very humble opinion.
NOTEs about the film:
1 At 41, James Stewart was 25 years older than Debra Paget, who was barely 16 at the time of filming.
2 Screenwriter Albert Maltz did not receive a credit when the film was released because he was blacklisted. Instead, the script was credited to Michael Blankfort.
3 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.
4 The movie's world premiere was held in the Nusho Theater in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
5 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.
James Stewart ... Tom Jeffords
Jeff Chandler ... Cochise
Debra Paget ... Sonseeahray ('Morningstar')
Basil Ruysdael ... Gen. Oliver 'The Christian General' Howard
Will Geer ... Ben Slade, Rancher
Joyce Mackenzie ... Terry, Scatfly Proprietress (as Joyce MacKenzie)
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Milt Duffield, Mail Superintendent
Director: Delmer Daves
Writers: Elliott Arnold (novel), Albert Maltz (screenplay)
Sound Mix:Mono (Western Electric Recording)