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Broken Lance Details


In this Western with curiously Shakespearean undertones, Matt Devereaux (Spencer Tracy) is a ranch owner who has tried to raise his sons to carry on the fierce, hard-working spirit that helped make him a success. However, as a consequence, he never learned to show them affection and treats his boys little better than the hired help. Joe (Robert Wagner), is Matt's son by Native American wife Señora (Katy Jurado). Because of Joe's mixed ethnicity, he is treated prejudicially by his three half-brothers, Ben (Richard Widmark), Mike (Hugh O'Brian), and Danny (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. When Matt discovers a nearby copper mine is polluting a stream where he waters his cattle, he becomes furious and leads a raid on the mine that causes the law to visit the ranch; the police have 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 several years in prison. When he's 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. Screenwriter Philip Yordan won an Academy Award for his work on Broken Lance, while Katy Jurado received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her performance as Señora. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Katy Jurado Best Supporting Actress 1954 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Philip Yordan Best Original Story 1954 Winner


Spencer Tracy
as Matt Devereaux
Robert Wagner
as Joe Devereaux
Jean Peters
as Barbara
Richard Widmark
as Ben
Katy Jurado
as Senora Devereaux
Hugh O'Brian
as Mike Devereaux
Eduard Franz
as Two Moons
Earl Holliman
as Danny Devereaux
E.G. Marshall
as The Governor
Carl Benton Reid
as Clem Lawton
Philip Ober
as Van Cleve
Robert Burton
as Mac Andrews
Robert Adler
as O'Reilly
Harry Carter
as Prison Guard
Nacho Galindo
as Cook
Julian Rivero
as Manuel
Edmund Cobb
as Court Clerk
Russell Simpson
as Judge
King Donovan
as Clerk
George E. Stone
as Paymaster
John Epper
as Ranger
Paul Kruger
as Bailiff


Edward Dmytryk
Sol C. Siegel
Richard Murphy
Philip Yordan
Joe MacDonald
Lionel Newman
Musical Direction/Supervision
Leigh Harline
Composer (Music Score)
Dorothy Spencer
Lyle Wheeler
Art Director
Maurice Ransford
Art Director
Walter Scott
Set Designer
William Travilla
Costume Designer