BROKEN LANCE is a Fox production directed by Edward Dmytryk in 1954. Philip Yordan earned the 1955 Academy award in the "Best Writing, Motion Picture Story" category for it although it is now known that he didn't write a line of Broken Lance whose authorship goes back to Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
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Matt Devereaux is the patriarch of the Devereaux family. He had three sons, Ben, Mike and Denny, with his first wife and a fourth son -Joe- with her second wife, the American Indian born Katy Jurado. Averse to any changes in the way he heads his ranch, Matt doesn't want his son Ben to open an office in town in order to be in phase with the economic realities of the moment. Matt doesn't believe his sons are mature enough and ready to take his place although he clearly prefers Joe to his brothers.
Now, when one of his neighbours produces manufacturing wastes in the river that kill forty of his cows, Matt and his sons settle "in the good old way" the matter by destroying the property of the neighbour who, unfortunately, goes straight to the local court of law. Times have changed and Matt is about to go to prison for some time and pay $80,000 to the plaintiff. Convinced that his father won't be able to stand the prison, Joe takes the full responsibility of the act and is arrested.
Ben and his brothers then refuse to sign the agreement accepted by their father and Matt, in a climactic scene, whips Ben. Joe is sentenced to three years of prison, instead of two months, and Matt undergoes a heart attack. During the three following years, Ben will more and more stand up to his weakened father and even propose to sell some of the family land to the oil companies.
The review of this Movie prepared by Daniel Staebler