Broken Lance – 1954 – English
Film directed in 1954 by Edward Dmytryk, and starring Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Katy Jurado, Hugh O´Brian, Earl Holliman, E.G. Marshall…
Synopsis: Cattle baron Matt Devereaux raids a copper smelter that is polluting his water, then divides his property among his sons. Son Joe takes responsibility for the raid and gets three years in prison. Matt dies from a stroke partly caused by his rebellious sons and when Joe gets out he plans revenge.
Review: Spencer Tracy stars in this fine western of a tough cattle baron who is not above taking the law into his own hands to deal with rustlers and trespassers. The film also dwells on the internal strife within the family as three of the rancher’s adult sons quarrel over the old man’s mistreatment of them and resent his marriage to an Indian woman.
The story is told in flashback and begins with the release from prison of Robert Wagner, Tracy’s son from the union with his younger wife. The film is a quest for revenge by Wagner who blames his half brothers for Tracy’s death while he was behind bars, with Richard Widmark being the leader and instigator against Wagner.
Jean Peters appears as Wagner’s love interest and Katy Jurado is Tracy’s Comanche princess. Tracy’s destruction of mining property gets him into big trouble and it is Wagner who takes the blame for Tracy and goes to prison instead of his father, which is the final break between the four brothers. The film was shot in CinemaScope and captures the beautiful expanses of the old west.