Broken Lance

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Broken Lance
Broken Lance film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Edward Dmytryk
Produced by Sol C. Siegel
Written by Philip Yordan (story)
Richard Murphy (screenplay)
Starring Spencer Tracy
Robert Wagner
Jean Peters
Richard Widmark
Katy Jurado
Music by Leigh Harline
Cinematography Joseph MacDonald
Edited by Dorothy Spencer
Distributed by Twentieth Century-Fox
Release dates
  • 1954 (1954)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1,685,000[1]
Box office $3.8 million (US rentals)[2][3]

Broken Lance is a 1954 Western film made by Twentieth Century-Fox, directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Sol C. Siegel. The movie stars Spencer Tracy and features Robert Wagner, Jean Peters and Richard Widmark,.

Shot in color and CinemaScope, the film is a remake of House of Strangers (1949) with the Phillip Yordan screenplay (based upon a novel by Jerome Weidman called I'll Never Go Home Any More), transplanted out west, featuring Tracy in the original Edward G. Robinson role, this time as a cowboy cattle baron rather than a Lower East Side Italian immigrant banker in New York City.


Matt Devereaux (Spencer Tracy) is a ranch owner who has tried to raise his sons to carry on the fierce, hard-working Irish settlement spirit that helped make him a success. However, as a consequence, he never learned to show his three sons from his first marriage the affection they yearned for and treats his boys little better than the hired help.

Joe (Robert Wagner) is Matt's son by the Native American princess, Matt's wife "Señora" (Katy Jurado). The town's people call her Senora out of respect for Matt but not out of respect for her. Because of Joe's mixed ethnicity, he is treated prejudicially by his three half-brothers, Ben (Richard Widmark), Mike (Hugh O'Brian), and Denny (Earl Holliman)—all Caucasian sons of Matt's first wife.

Joe loves his father and would do nearly anything for him, but his siblings resent Matt's emotional distance. The two middle kids rustle cattle and get two Mexicans killed, then get caught and shot by Matt and two Indians (whom they sacked the year before).

Soon after 40 head of cattle die, Matt discovers a copper mine 20 miles away is polluting a stream where he waters his cattle. He becomes furious and leads a raid on the mine. The mine is on Matt's land, but he does not have the mineral rights. The law issues a warrant to arrest whoever was responsible for the attack.

To spare his father the agony and humiliation of a stay behind bars, Joe claims responsibility and spends three years in prison. When he is released, he discovers that Ben and his other brothers rebelled against their father with such extremity that the old man suffered a fatal stroke. While Señora tries to persuade Joe not to seek revenge, Ben is more than willing to fight his brother for taking his father's side.


Awards and nominations[edit]

The film won the Academy Award for Best Story for Philip Yordan. Katy Jurado was nominated for Best Supporting Actress. Jurado's role was originally for Dolores del Río. The film also won a Golden Globe Award as Best Film Promoting International Understanding.

DVD release[edit]

The film was released on DVD on May 24, 2005. Viewers have the option of watching either a "pan and scan" full screen version or the original wide screen version in the CinemaScope aspect ratio. Both versions have stereophonic sound and have been digitally restored.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Solomon, p249
  2. ^ Solomon, p225
  3. ^ 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1954', Variety Weekly, January 5, 1955
  4. ^
  • Solomon, Aubrey. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History (The Scarecrow Filmmakers Series). Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1989. ISBN 978-0-8108-4244-1.

External links[edit]