The first Western from director Delmer Daves, Broken Arrow tells the story of US army scout Tom Jeffords (James Stewart) who marries a young Apache girl (Debra Paget), becomes the friend of Cochise (Jeff Chandler) and convinces him to sign a peace treaty with the whites.
But Geronimo and a number of arms dealers refuse to accept peace. Then when white renegades murder his wife, Jeffords rebels against those of his own race.
Broken Arrow can be considered as the first great pro-American Indian film.
Based on verifiable fact it faithfully evokes the relationship between Cochise and Jeffords, marking a historic rehabilitation of Indians in the cinema.
It is also one of the first Hollywood films to show a mixed-race marriage.
The director gained sympathy for the Indians from living among the Navaho and Hopi tribes in his youth.