National Day of the Cowboy - old western film screening - Visit Sedona Blog

National Day of the Cowboy - old western film screening

The Sedona Historical Society will celebrate National Day of the Cowboy with the screening of a western film made in Sedona, on Saturday, July 24 at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre.

National Day of the Cowboy is a day set aside to celebrate ‘all things western’, and the contributions of the Cowboy and Cowgirl to America’s culture and heritage. This year’s event is a showing of ‘Broken Arrow’, a 1950 western film set in Sedona and featuring Jimmy Stewart.

Set against the grand backdrop of Sedona’s red rocks, this film was nominated for three Academy Awards, and won a Golden Globe award for Best Film Promoting International Understanding. Film historians have said that the movie was one of the first major Westerns to portray Native Americans sympathetically.

Lovers of Sedona western movie heritage will enjoy this Hollywood effort at social commentary layered with romance and action. Stewart, a WWII hero, was perhaps the most beloved Hollywood star at the time and cast as the hero, but there were casting gaffs and wardrobe miscalculations, among other hurdles in making this classic.  

Directed by the great Delmer Daves, who made four films in Sedona, the production presented massive logistics challenges. It employed approximately 400 White Mountain Apaches and local residents; required about 260 rented horses; and bulldozers cut miles of roads through the forest to 20 different shooting sites. During the panel discussion, guests will hear these stories and more with personal anecdotes of Sedona residents who dined with the stars and took Jimmy Stewart fishing. 

Doors open at 3:15 p.m. At 3:30 a panel will share background and stories about the making of the film in Sedona before the movie plays. 

The film will show in the Mary D. Fisher Theatre, thanks to the Sedona International Film Festival. Tickets are limited, $20 each, and available at SWAG bags included. Proceeds benefit the Society’s special projects.

For more information, contact the Society at 928-282-7038. 

Photo:  Jimmy Stewart and Debra Paget starred in the 1950 Sedona classic movie “Broken Arrow"