×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Broken Chain

Filmed in Virginia by Von Zerneck/Sertner Films for TNT. Executive producers, Frank Von Zerneck, Robert M. Sertner; producers, Cleve Landsberg, Lamont Johnson , Hanay Geigamah, Phill Lucas, Richard Hill; associate producers, Randy Sutter, Stacy Smith-Ehrenhalt; director, Johnson; writer, Earl W. Wallace; Rarely comes a telepic that survives on its educational values more than its entertainment values, but TNT's "The Broken Chain" is just that type of fare. It exposes how the Iroquois Confederacy in the Northeast was splintered and torn by the French and English wars and the American Revolution in the late 1700s.

With:
Cast: Eric Schweig, Wes Studi, Buffy Saint-Marie, Pierce Brosnan, J.C. White Shirt, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Elaine Bilstad, Kim Snyder, Graham Greene, Michael Spears, Nathan Chasing His Horse, Grace C. Renn, Mark Joy, John Hagadorn , Stan Kelly, Joel Abel, Michael Huie, Casey Camp-Hornick, Bonnie Paradise, Bisamati Hasan, Lillian D. Adkins, Zelma Deer In Water Wynn, Vernon Abrams, Michael Abram, Vincent T. Lazore, Barry Powless, Ted Thin Elk, Phil Lucas, Frank Guite Sr., Frank Guite Jr.

Filmed in Virginia by Von Zerneck/Sertner Films for TNT. Executive producers, Frank Von Zerneck, Robert M. Sertner; producers, Cleve Landsberg, Lamont Johnson , Hanay Geigamah, Phill Lucas, Richard Hill; associate producers, Randy Sutter, Stacy Smith-Ehrenhalt; director, Johnson; writer, Earl W. Wallace; Rarely comes a telepic that survives on its educational values more than its entertainment values, but TNT’s “The Broken Chain” is just that type of fare. It exposes how the Iroquois Confederacy in the Northeast was splintered and torn by the French and English wars and the American Revolution in the late 1700s.

The “big picture” feel is here as director Lamont Johnson uses the sweeping camera work of William Wages to capture the feel of the Northeastern wilderness, complete with changing leaves in autumn, but the tension and true grit needed to fuel this story of broken loyalties during wartime is missing.

Holding up telepic’s plot are factual elements that detail the important roles Native Americans played in the “white man wars.”

Shifting loyalties between members of the Iroquois Confederacy and the French , English and, later, the Americans are depicted in the tale of Joseph Brandt (Eric Schweig), a young Indian warrior who so impresses an Englishman, Sir William Johnson (Pierce Brosnan), during the war with the French that he’s taken out of the wilderness and put into world of the white man, where’s he’s educated and develops cynicism toward his people and upbringing.

Brandt’s adulthood transformation is met with disdain by boyhood friend Lohaheo (J.C. White Shirt), who perceives this new “non-Indian” attitude as a type of possession as much as a betrayal to Brandt’s family and race.

As the friendship sours, tragic consequences lead to a fight between life and death, but the buildup to this hatred and animosity is slow, with too much pastoral storytelling rather than war drama.

The ensemble cast works fine enough, but no one stands out.

The waning pathos is made up for by some solid war action and a script by Earl Wallace that consistently injects historic relevance.

Pic is nice to look at, and music by Charles Fox is a successful accompaniment.

“The Broken Chain” is part of an ongoing TNT series that will focus on different Native American cultures and their roles in the formation of America.

The Broken Chain

Production: TNT, Sun. Dec. 12, 8 p.m.

Crew: Camera, William Wages; editor, Susan B. Browdy; production designer, Paul Peters; music, Charles Fox; sound, Robert Allan Wald; casting, Susan Glicksman.120 MIN.

With: Cast: Eric Schweig, Wes Studi, Buffy Saint-Marie, Pierce Brosnan, J.C. White Shirt, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Elaine Bilstad, Kim Snyder, Graham Greene, Michael Spears, Nathan Chasing His Horse, Grace C. Renn, Mark Joy, John Hagadorn , Stan Kelly, Joel Abel, Michael Huie, Casey Camp-Hornick, Bonnie Paradise, Bisamati Hasan, Lillian D. Adkins, Zelma Deer In Water Wynn, Vernon Abrams, Michael Abram, Vincent T. Lazore, Barry Powless, Ted Thin Elk, Phil Lucas, Frank Guite Sr., Frank Guite Jr.

More Film

  • Hugh Jackman Sings Happy Birthday to

    Hugh Jackman Leads Massive One-Man Show Crowd in 'Happy Birthday' for Ian McKellen

    Hugh Jackman may have had to skip Ian McKellen’s birthday party to perform his one-man show, “The Man, The Music, The Show,” but that didn’t mean he couldn’t celebrate his “X-Men” co-star’s 80th. Jackman took a moment at the Manchester Arena Saturday to lead the sold-out audience — some 50,000 strong — in a rendition [...]

  • Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the

    Netflix, Shmetflix: At Cannes 2019, the Movies Needed Every Inch of the Big Screen

    In the May 24 edition of The New York Times, there was a column by Timothy Egan, entitled “The Comeback of the Century: Why the Book Endures, Even in an Era of Disposable Digital Culture,” that celebrated those things that come between two hard covers as a larger phenomenon than mere nostalgia. The column keyed [...]

  • Aladdin

    'Aladdin' Dominates International Box Office With $121 Million

    Disney’s “Aladdin” is showing plenty of worldwide drawing power with $121 million overseas for the weekend, opening in first place in nearly all international markets. The reboot of the 1992 animated classic has received strong family attendance with a significant gain on Saturday and Sunday. China leads the way with an estimated $18.7 million for [...]

  • Aladdin

    Box Office: 'Aladdin' Taking Flight With $105 Million in North America

    Disney’s live-action “Aladdin” is flying high with an estimated $105 million in North America during the four-day Memorial Day holiday weekend. It’s the sixth-highest Memorial Day weekend total ever, topping the 2011 mark of $103.4 million for “The Hangover Part II.” The top total came in 2007, when “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” [...]

  • Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special

    Agustina San Martin Talks Cannes Special Mention Winner ‘Monster God’

    CANNES – An exploration of the ramifications of God, “Monster God,” from Argentina’s Agustina San Martín, took a Special Mention – an effective runner’s up prize – on Saturday night at this year’s Cannes Film Festival short film competition. It’s not difficult to see why, especially when jury president Claire Denis own films’ power resists [...]

  • Atlantics

    Netflix Snags Worldwide Rights to Cannes Winners 'Atlantics,' 'I Lost My Body'

    Mati Diop’s feature directorial debut “Atlantics” and Jérémy Clapin’s animated favorite “I Lost My Body” have both been acquired by Netflix following wins at Cannes Film Festival. “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix while “I Lost My Body” was voted the best film at the independent International Critics Week. The deals are for worldwide rights [...]

  • Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan

    Stan Lee's Former Business Manager Arrested on Elder Abuse Charges

    Stan Lee’s former business manager, Keya Morgan, was arrested in Arizona Saturday morning on an outstanding warrant from the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD’s Mike Lopez confirmed that the arrest warrant was for the following charges: one count of false imprisonment – elder adult; three counts of grand theft from elder or dependent adult, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content