Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

23 July 2008

Broken Lance

I quite liked Edward Dmytryk's Western Broken Lance. It stars Spencer Tracy as a modern-day King Lear with four sons, played by Robert Wagner, Richard Widmark, and two other (obviously lesser important) guys. This is mostly a drama about race, though. Tracy is married to Katy Jurado in the film, and Robert Wagner, with a darker tan than I've ever seen him sporting (brownface?), is their "half-breed" son.

I forget that people really used to talk like this about other people, and so it is a little jarring to hear, but the film is quite interesting. Wagner fights prejudice throughout--especially when he falls in love with some old white man's daughter.
Tracy is in fine form, although, he is supposed to be an aging old patriarch, so he tends toward the feeble at times. I am actually starting to really like ol' Spencer Tracy. I wonder what I had against him for so long... I disliked him for years, but I guess I have no explanation for that. As for Wagner, I grew up with him on "Hart to Hart" (my mother was obsessed with that show: hi mom!) and of course I've seen him in other things before. I consider him a rather limited actor. Still he is fine in the role. Widmark and Jurado are both very good (she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress that year). I love both of them, if I haven't mentioned that before.

Anyway, Broken Lance didn't change my life, but it is a solid Western.