Broken Arrow

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Delmer Daves
Production: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
93 min

bBroken Arrow/b

This is the story of a land...

...and its people 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 am telling 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.

Since leaving the Army I had been

prospecting for gold off and... day I heard the colonel

at Tucson wanted to see me.

The story started when I saw

buzzards circling in the sky.

The buzzard's a smart bird.


...or somebody,

was getting ready to die.

I figured it was a hurt deer

or a rabbit or a snake.

Not a rabbit...

...not a deer.

His kind was more dangerous

than a snake.

He was an Apache.

For ten years we'd been on a

savage war with his people...

...a bloody, no-give, no-take war.


Better slow.

I could have killed you before.

A fire was dangerous

in Apache country.

But his wounds were bad and

he was running a high fever.

He had eight pieces of buckshot

in his back and I dug them out.

He was in pain but he never

let out a sound.

For the next few days I panned

the stream for gold...

...and watched the boy.

I wanted to be on the move, and

I was glad he was recovering.

Do your legs feel stronger today?

Little bit.

You've still got a limp.

Today I must leave.

No, I must go. Too soon for you.

For my legs, yes,

but for my family, no.

This is my novice time.

I am 14. So I learn to be a man.

I go on trips alone.

But I have been away too long.

In the wickiup my mother is crying.

My father looks for me, I think.

I am their only one now.

My brother and my sister were

killed at Big Creek.

"My mother is crying", he said.

It never struck me that an Apache

woman would cry over her son... any other woman.

"Apaches are wild animals",

we all said.

Do you pray to Killer of Enemies?

Not even to Life Giver?

The ones up there.

We have another name.

Apaches pray for all

white men to die.

But now I pray to keep you safe.

At sunset last night, I threw pollen

to the four winds for you.

Thanks, boy.

This is very big...

...against headache and sickness.

Now it is yours.

They could have killed.

Put away your gun.

My people are watching us.

They see I am unharmed.

This is clear talk.

It says they can still kill.

This white man is my friend.

This white man is my friend.

He must not be hurt.

When did my son become a tame Apache?

Father look! He gave me life again

when the soldiers wounded me.

Where did you meet soldiers?

It will shame us to say.

An Apache should not do what

others cannot know.

This one...

- ...he was with them?

- No.

He found me later. He healed me.

It will be wrong to harm him.

You do no give orders.

You speak our tongue?

A little.

White men pay many dollars

for the scalp of an Apache.

I know.

Then why did you not take his scalp?

If I kill an Apache it'll not

be for scalp or money.

Why not? My people and your

people are at war.

It is not my way to fight.

- It is the way of all whites.

- It is not my way.

You are a woman maybe.

Apaches do not take scalps either.

And they are not women.

He hides something.

Why are you here in our mountains?

I look for gold and silver.

For what?

For yellow iron.

You did not kill.

We will not kill this time.

But not again.

Give him his gun.

They wanted to kill me, all right,

but they let me go.

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Albert Maltz

Albert Maltz was an American playwright, fiction writer and screenwriter. He was one of the Hollywood Ten who were jailed in 1950 for their 1947 refusal to testify before the US Congress about their involvement with the Communist Party USA. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Broken Arrow" STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 24 Jun 2021. <>.

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