|Directed by||Robert Aldrich|
|Produced by||Harold Hecht|
|Written by||James R. Webb|
|Based on||novel Broncho Apache by Paul Wellman|
|Music by||David Raksin|
|Edited by||Alan Crosland Jr.|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|July 9, 1954|
|Budget||$1,240,000 or $1 million|
|Box office||$3.25 million (US/ Canada)|
1,216,098 admissions (France)
Following the surrender of Geronimo, Massai, the last Apache warrior is captured and scheduled for transportation to a Florida reservation. On the way he manages to escape and heads for his homeland to win back his girl and settle down to grow crops. His pursuers have other ideas, though.
In April 1952 Burt Lancaster announced he would star in a film based on the novel, to be produced by himself and Harold Hecht. Lancaster had previously played an Indian in Jim Thorpe – All-American.
For four years Lancaster and Hecht had been based at Warner Bros. However in June 1953 they announced they would make two films with United Artists, starting with Apache. The film would be the first in a series of movies Lancaster made for United Artists. It was originally budgeted at $742,000.
In July 1953 the producers hired Robert Aldrich as a director. Aldrich says this was on the back of his second feature as director, World for Ransom, along with the fact that he had previously worked for Hecht-Lancaster on other movies as an assistant and had tried to buy the original novel himself.
The ending of the novel featured the leading character killed by US troops. "Of course, United Artists and Hecht became apprehensive of that so called down-beat ending," said Aldrich. "I made noise but they didn't hear me; then you go through the steps but you know they're going to use that happy ending."
The film was a big hit, earning over $3 million in its first year of release and $6 million overall. Aldrich subsequently directed Hecht-Lancaster's next film, Vera Cruz.
The film currently has a 75% "Fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
- Alain Silver and James Ursini, Whatever Happened to Robert Aldrich?, Limelight, 1995 p 234
- Tino Balio, United Artists: The Company That Changed the Film Industry, University of Wisconsin Press, 1987 p. 79
- 'The Top Box-Office Hits of 1954', Variety Weekly, January 5, 1955
- French box office results for Robert Aldrich films at Box Office Story
- BOOKS RECEIVED: ANTHOLOGIES The Scotsman 15 Oct 1936: 13.
- Looking at Hollywood: Burt Lancaster Awarded Role of Indian in 'Bronco Apache' Chicago Daily Tribune 14 Apr 1952: d3
- BURT LANCASTER MAKES U. A. DEAL: Movie Star and His Partner, Harold Hecht, Find a New Outlet for Productions By THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times 24 June 1953: 30.
- Looking at Hollywood: Lancaster Gets Indian Role in 'Bronco Apache' Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune2 Dec 1952: a5.
- Kate Buford, Burt Lancaster: An American Life, Da Capo 2000 p 137
- ALDRICH TO DIRECT FOR NORMA STUDIO: Former Production Assistant Achieves Goal on 'Bronco Apache' With Lancaster New York Times 1 Aug 1953: 8.
- mr. film noir stays at the table Silver, Alain. Film Comment; New York Vol. 8, Iss. 1, (Spring 1972): 14-23.
- REPUBLIC TO FILM 'THE BIG WHISPER': Virginia Van Upp Will Write and Produce Drama Under New Studio Financing Policy New York Times 1 Oct 1953: 34.
- Lancaster Limping, but Production Plans Spurt; Glynis Will 'Interrupt' Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times27 Oct 1953: B9.
- BRONCHO' ON LOCATION: Charting the New Course of the Latest Hecht-Lancaster Independent Picture By WILLIAM H. BROWNELL JR. New York Times 27 Dec 1953: X7.
- Kate Buford, Burt Lancaster: An American Life, Da Capo 2000 p 140
- Apache Rotten Tomatoes