17 March 2010 | luisguillermoc3
The human contradictions
Edward Dmytryk was a skilled director. He showed plenty of memorable titles as in "Murder My Sweet" "The Caine Mutiny," "Warlock", "Raintree County"... where he showed narrative skill, a most correct direction of actors and impressive staging.
The one that concerns us: "Broken Lance" is, for our taste, one of his best films. Told from a long flashback that begins after Joe Devereaux returns to his old home after spending three years in prison, the narrative focuses on the eventful life of the landlord Matthew Devereaux (a superb and brilliant Spencer Tracy) and his difficult relationship with his children and unhappy with the environment that surrounds it. Matt is a man who loves nature and respects animals. It is also a just and loving husband with his Indian wife (Katy Jurado's always accurate Oscar nominee for this role), loves much the son she had with her (Joe), but the children of his former wife, now deceased, is intolerant and demanding. Their conflict develops into a crescendo that prevents us from a storm that seems inevitable.
Dmytryk will recreate every nuance of arrogance and the film emerges as a psychological portrait of great importance. Matt is contrasting as day. Defend the Indians and some even work for him. Your home is an earthly paradise and think, clearly, a man of privilege.But as in all light is usually a shade to Matthew is impossible to get along with their children and this makes the paradise into an inferno.
The river that crosses his land is a symbol of the flow of life: sometimes calm... sometimes with rocks impeding the flow. Sometimes of course... and sometimes murky. Remake of "House of Strangers" by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the story of "Broken Lance" refers to "King Lear" by William Shakespeare and even "The Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Materials, all of these, essential in the cultural baggage of any human being.
"Broken Lance" can also be made in any list of classic western movies.