“Broken Arrow” was one of the first Hollywood films to preach for an accord and peaceful co-existence between Native Americans and white civilization.
Directed by Delmer Daves, “Broken Arrow” is a rather realistic study of Apache chief, Cochise, featuring good action sequences. The film stars Jimmy Stewart as an ex-army man and Debra Paget as his romantic interest.
As was Hollywood’s custom at the time, Cochise was played by white actor Jeff Chandler. Chandler played Cochise again in The Battle at Apache Pass, which later became a TV series.
“Broken Arrow” was part of a brief cycle in Hollywood that reflected liberal politics in the attitudes of white America toward the Indians. Unfortunately, this cycle didn’t last long due to McCarthyism and the mood of political witch-hunting.
Oscar Nominations: 3
Supporting Actor: Jeff Chandler
Screenplay: Michael Blankfort (front for blacklisted writer Albert Matz)
Color Cinematography: Ernest Palmer
Oscar Awards: None
In 1950, the Supporting Actor winner was George Sanders for “All About Eve,” which also won the Screenplay Oscar for its director, Joseph L. Mankiewicz. The Cinematography Oscar went to Robert Surtees for “King Solomon’s Mines.”