Broken Lance


Action / Adventure / Western


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January 18, 2016 at 08:45 AM



Robert Wagner as Joe Devereaux
Spencer Tracy as Matt Devereaux
E.G. Marshall as Horace - The Governor
Richard Widmark as Ben Devereaux
720p 1080p
707 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 5 / 4
1.46 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 36 min
P/S 8 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Righty-Sock ([email protected]) 8 / 10

A first-rate adult Western...

Tracy is a believable cowboy, nicely balanced for handling a bull whip, riding dangerously the hills...

Tracy plays a despot, absolute ruler cattle baron "making the wrong move with the wrong people," using his force to restrain the pollution of his cattle's stream: "The river is on my land. You are on my land. You close this operation down."

His first three sons (Widmark, O'Brien and Holliman) were unanimously disappointing to him... He considered them cattle thieves, treating them harshly, without mercy... Only the fourth son and the youngest one (Robert Wagner) by his present wife, a Comanche woman played by the clever, quick-witted Katy Jurado has his affection and care... The other sons looks only forward to his demise so they may take control over his cattle empire...

Tracy — irritated and frustrated as a father — expends excessive reasons that arouses the sensation of hate provoking avaricious rebellion, and nearly destroys his younger kid Joe...

It was interesting to follow Dmytryk's study of racial prejudice against the Indian wife of a domineering white father... Interesting to compare the rough resilience of Tracy with his character—isolated by mortal danger in "Bad Day at Black Rock," a character enlightened with real feelings specially in guessing the conclusion... Somehow this is missing in Dmytryk's "Broken Lance" where the autocratic father seems so artificial, an unfavorable comment that can be aimed against the movie itself...

Widmark offers a fine performance as the unlikable eldest son, while Robert Wagner and Jean Peters manage the romantic interlude...

The screenplay, based on 1949s "Home of Strangers" wins an Oscar and the fiery-eyed Mexican star Katy Jurado was nominated for best supporting actress...

Filmed in CinemaScope and Technicolor and with great sceneries of the state of Arizona, "Broken Lance" remains a first-rate adult Western...

Reviewed by jcurbaniak 6 / 10

Joseph and his brothers.

This 1954 western won an Academy Award for Best Writing and Katy Jurado was nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

Spencer Tracy is Matthew Deveraux, a self-made Irish (with a name like Deveraux? -- Cajun maybe -- but Irish?) cattle baron owning a huge herd and ranch. He is absolute patriarch over his 4 sons and Indian wife (Jurado), ruling with little feeling for his sons who he treats as hired hands but doting on his spouse.

He does have a soft spot, however, for half-breed son Joe (Robert Wagner) which the other three sons from a previous marriage especially the oldest Ben (Richard Widmark) deeply resent. Joe has fallen in love with Barbara (Jean Peters), the governor's daughter further complicating things as the governor (E.G. Marshall) is highly prejudiced against Indians.

A violent dispute with a copper mining company polluting creek waters leads to all kinds of legal trouble and Matt must sign the ranch away to his sons. Joe becomes the sacrificial lamb and goes to jail for 3 years basically to keep his father free.

Meanwhile Ben now runs the cattle business as he sees fit and in direct defiance of his father's wishes.

The film has beautiful landscape photography that is not to be missed. Both Tracy and Widmark offer strong performances.

But there are some problems here that hold the film down.

Wagner's performance is flat and he is not believable at all as being part Indian. Jurado has little to say or do and how she was Oscar nominated is hard to fathom.

The other two sons portrayed by Earl Holliman and Hugh O'Brian are woefully underdeveloped just going along with whatever Widmark's character wants. By the end of the film they have disappeared entirely.

Compare this with a film like the "The Sons Of Katie Elder" where the group dynamic and personalities of 4 similar western sons are much better developed and explored and you may feel somewhat cheated by what this film could have been.

It's never quite clear (at least to me) why Joe has to go to jail since he did not even start the fight with the copper company. And why the copper company would care if anyone goes to jail (since they get everything they want in the settlement) is also a head scratcher. This just seemed a highly contrived plot device.

Finally, another Indian, Two Moons (Eduard Franz - a serious miscast if I ever saw one), saves Joe at a critical point in the film.

Wny he appears at just the right moment and his devotion to the Deveraux family is never fully explained (at least to my satisfaction).

In fact, there is a whole subplot about Matt Deveraux and the Indians that is touched on but never explored as well. Matt has a surprising respect for wolves (especially for a cattleman) that begged for some further explanation. He is a complex multi-faceted character that should have been better developed.

An average oater saved only by Tracy, Widmark, and the spectacular scenery. It could have been so much better.

Reviewed by alexandre michel liberman (tmwest) 9 / 10

Will Joseph forgive or seek revenge?

When this film came out, the main attraction was that it was in Cinemascope and I cannot remember where this system was better used. This is a great film, one of the best westerns ever made. It starts with a wolf running in the giant landscape and finishes with a wolf howling and Kathy Jurado smiling because she knows what it means. Robert Wagner is called Joseph, and has a lot in common with Joseph in the Bible, because of the way he is treated by his brothers from a different mother, and specially on the issue of forgiveness, which in this case will be represented by whether he will seek revenge or not. Spencer Tracy is the patriarch, he also has in common with the Biblical Jacob the fact that he worked so many years. Richard Widmark is the son who cannot forgive Tracy for having married Jurado, and for having treated him so hard. When he tries to explain to Tracy why he hates him, Tracy gives a great answer telling him that the gates were always open, he could have left like Tracy did in his youth, and the fact that he did not leave reveals Widmark's blind ambition. Tracy and sons fight the people on a copper plant which is polluting the river in a scene very reminiscent of the family going against the railroad in "Duel in the Sun". Make sure to see this film on widescreen.

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