Broken Lance (1954)
Company: Twilight Time
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark, Kathy Jurado, Hugh O’Brian, Eduard Franz, E.G. Marshall, Earl Holliman,
My Review and Thoughts:
Spencer Tracy. All one should have to do is write that name, or say that name, and that sums it up. Tracy is one of the best, most talented acting performers to ever grace the cinema world. From Drama, to comedy to western, to everything in between. He was a multi-diverse actor that knew what he wanted to create in a character, and succeeded in doing so in many, upon many pieces of cinema. His brilliant ability to make you believe his characters is what great acting is all about. Broken Lance is a prime example of his talent. Broken Lance is a prime example of a film that has been forgotten, or overlooked as an important piece of American storytelling.
Twilight Time choose another solid presentation of an important western film.
I have not seen this film in a very long time. I think the last time I saw it was when I was a kid. I remember watching it at my Uncle Earl’s house. Westerns where always playing on the tube when I was with my Uncle. I grew up on westerns, and this one was one of those westerns I always remembered. The acting is what stood out along with an interesting story about family, race, and a blood feud.
Your main character is Matt Devereaux (Tracy). He is a ranch owner. He has kids. His ability in life was to train his sons in the hard work that got him where he is at. The problem is, Matt treated his kids from his first marriage in a rough way like they were no more than the workers he hires for his ranch. Insert one of Matt’s kids, Joe, you see is half Native American. This reality is a stain, or a bigoted reality of townsfolk treating him in a lesser way, and plus Matt’s full white American half-brothers, Ben, Mike and Denny also treat Joe less and consider him lower than them. Add in many bad choices by the kids, and also Joe taking the blame for an action that could send his father to jail. This is a thick drama western style that unfolds on screen. This is a dynamic story about family, race, the struggle to survive, and the ability to rise above the bigoted, and hateful ways of certain persons. So begins a blood feud, and many actions transpire to lead the viewer into a tight directed film of dramatic moments. Action, drama, struggle, tension, anger, frustration, love, peace, belonging, all come out in this fine film that deserves to be seen.
Directed by an equally brilliant film maker, Edward Dmytryk. That should sum it up for you in wanting to see this film. He was a director that had a unique eye in capturing a film that lingers. He was able to create films that stand out and are award worthy. From his amazing film Crossfire, to Back to Bataan. Sadly he was one the blacklisted during the McCarthy witch trials of foolishness. He was a brilliant film maker that left many wonderful pieces of film. Broken lance is one of those, he also directed another amazing film also released by Twilight Time, The Young Lions which you can read my review for it here: Review .
Besides Tracy it is a wonderful reality to see Robert Wagner who was another awesome actor throughout his career. You also get the wonderful Richard Widmark who is a favorite of mine. He was one of the great western actors, and more or less got typecast in this reality. Whatever he was acting in, he gave his all, and the character of Ben in Broken Lance is a dynamic experience for any lover of film. Also starring the very beautiful and amazing Jean Peters. Boy what a looker she was. Truly breathtaking actress that created many wonderful characters throughout her career. She was a true sex symbol, but she was so much more than that. Loved her in Viva Zapata!, and Broken Lance is one of her greats also. The whole cast is amazing.
Yet again Twilight Time impresses me with the quality put into these blu-rays. The film has never looked any better. The transfer is amazing to blu-ray. A sophisticated example of taking an older film and giving it new life on a lovely product. The audio is crisp, sounds excellent. Another great undertaking.
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 2.55:1
AUDIO: English 5.0 DTS-HD MA / English 2.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
The important isolated music score. The music for this film was composed by the amazing composer and songwriter Leigh Adrian Harline. Harline was a composer and music guru that was able to express emotions in his tunes. He allowed a story to flow or be told through the sounds of his composed pieces. He was a one of kind composer that stood out in allowing a mood of emotional responses in his music.
Audio Commentary with Actor Earl Holliman and Film Historian Nick Redman. Another fantastic listen. Awesome to hear Earl Holliman talk about the movie. He played the character of Denny in the film. It’s always a plus to hear from someone involved with the movie. Also the wonderful Nick Redman and his film history expertise is also a must hear, as always.
Fox Movietone Newsreel
Original Theatrical Trailers
A wonderful film. An awesome blu-ray transfer by Twilight Time. They have given another flawless example on how to treat a film. Broken Lance is a must see film for anyone who has not, and if you have, it’s a new way to see it on this Blu-ray format. A beautiful HD reality that Twilight Time does so well. Great film, great product, equals a great time.
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