THE BROKEN LAND
Filmed at Apacheland April 22 - 30, 1961
60 Minutes - Released in theaters April 1, 1962
Directed by John A. Bushelman
Jack Nicholson, Kent Taylor, Diana Darrin, Jody McCrea, Robert Sampson, Gary Sneed, Don Orlando, Helen Joseph, H. Tom Cain, Robert Hinkle, Bob Pollard, Leland Wainscott, Levis Brown
BEHIND THE SCENES:
The working title of this film was original scripted as "Vanishing Frontier" - Though Jack Nicholson was a newcomer to the Hollywood scene with only a few other roles under his belt, his personality on the Apacheland set made a few heads turn and every female face blush. He always made light of a heavy situation regardless if cameras were rolling, even when it came to relieving himself during a stagecoach robbery scene. What you see is what you get. Always having the eye for a beautiful lady, Mr. Nicholson turned down offers to lunch with a couple of pretty young locals from Apache Junction but instead chose to dine with Mrs. Levis Brown at the newly opened Cowboy Steakhouse at Apacheland Studio. Levis Brown was a local Apache Junction resident and was also a full-time merchant in the "Gold Nugget Gift Shop," located next to the Saloon (building Stella Stevens lived in "Ballad of Cable Hogue"). Mrs. Brown can be seen in almost every movie, TV show and commercial ever filmed at Apacheland Movie Ranch.
Marshal Jim Kogan (Kent Taylor), a sadistic officer who dominates a small western town, imprisons Will Broicous (Jack Nicholson), the harmless son of a famous gunfighter. Kogan also arrests Billy Bell (Gary Snead) and Gabe Dunson (Robert Sampson), when they attempt to help Willy. Kogan tells waitress Mavra Aikens (Dianna Darrin) to leave town. Mavra goes to the jail and gives the three young men the key to their cell. She is seen leaving the jail by Ed Flynn (Jody McCrea), Kogan's deputy and the Mayor's son.
The three young men break jail and head for the mountains. They intercept the stage carrying Mavra and although they don't demand it, the frightened driver throws down the money box. Taking Mavra and the money, they continue their escape. Mavra and Gabe are attracted to one another. Kogan, Flynn and two posse men find the young people's hideout. Gabe and Will get the drop on them and force Kogan to take the money and leave. Kogan decides to double back and capture the youngsters, but Flynn objects. Kogan kills him. Kogam sneaks back, kills Billy, disarms the others and hauls them off to town.
When the Marshal and his prisoners reach town, they are surrounded by a group of angry townspeople. Mavra informs the people of Krogan's cruel deeds when he was an officer during the Civil War; he violated many of the woman in a town and she was one of them. When Gabe learns that Kogan disgraced Mavra, he fights and whips him. Stripped of his badge and power to hurt, Kogan is left kneeling in the street, an object of scorn and hate.