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ReFocus: The Films of Delmer Daves$
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Matthew Carter and Andrew Nelson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474403016

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403016.001.0001

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Don’t Be Too Quick to Dismiss Them: Authorship and the Westerns of Delmer Daves

Don’t Be Too Quick to Dismiss Them: Authorship and the Westerns of Delmer Daves

Chapter:
(p.48) Chapter 1 Don’t Be Too Quick to Dismiss Them: Authorship and the Westerns of Delmer Daves
Source:
ReFocus: The Films of Delmer Daves
Author(s):

Andrew Patrick Nelson

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474403016.003.0002

Andrew Patrick Nelson offers a revaluation of Broken Arrow, which is often credited with helping to inaugurate a cycle of ‘pro-Indian’ Westerns featuring more sympathetic and even heroic portrayals of aboriginal characters. As a counterpoint to reflectionist readings of the pro-Indian cycle, Nelson explores an alternative explanation for the character of the famous Chiricahua leader, Cochise. He argues that Cochise is, in fact, a common character in Daves’ Westerns: the stoic secondary hero who steadies, strengthens, and defers to the mildly neurotic leading man who, rather than being a natural agent, proceeds based on reason. Re-conceiving Cochise as a ‘Davesian’ character is a small step towards reclaiming Daves’ pivotal role of the development of the Western in the 1950s.

Keywords:   ‘Pro-Indian’ cycle, Western, Hollywood, Native Americans, Chiricahua Apache, Cochise

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