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Breakheart Pass (1975)

6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,663 users  
Reviews: 43 user | 20 critic

Train with medical supplies and small U.S. Army unit is heading through Rocky mountains towards plagued Fort Humboldt. Among its passengers are territory governor, priest, doctor and U.S. ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bill McKinney ...
...
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Rayford Barnes ...
Scott Newman ...
Rafferty
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Levi Calhoun
Joe Kapp ...
Henry
Archie Moore ...
Carlos
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Jane-Marie
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Storyline

Train with medical supplies and small U.S. Army unit is heading through Rocky mountains towards plagued Fort Humboldt. Among its passengers are territory governor, priest, doctor and U.S. Marshal with his prisoner, John Deakin. However, nothing on that train is what it seems. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Death rode the rails to Breakheart Pass See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

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Release Date:

25 December 1975 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Nevada Pass  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Charles Bronson was approximately 53 years old when he made this film. See more »

Goofs

During the rooftop fight, snow covers the entire roof of the supply car. But in the exterior shot just before, about one-third of the roof was not covered. Also, the layer of snow appears to be thinner in one shot of Carlos climbing on the roof. See more »

Quotes

Deputy U.S. Marshal Nathan Pearce: I reckon we come down to it, Deakin.
John Deakin: You have a choice. You could throw that gun down.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Nathan Pearce: I don't think I can do that.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Behind the Action: Stuntmen in the Movies (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A train worth catching
19 February 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Anyone who's ever had to slog through his soul-destroying ITC or Cannon-years output will find it hard to imagine that there was ever a time when Charles Bronson was a half-decent actor who not only made films that were actually released in cinemas, but good ones at that. Breakheart Pass is probably the best of the last burst of quality output in the actor's oeuvre that also saw Hard Times (aka The Streetfighter) and the whimsical From Noon Til Three; for that matter, the last good Alistair MacLean screen outing before what seems like an eternity of formulaic made-for-TV efforts with C-list casts.

The plot has all the MacLean staples - sabotage, secret identities, wolves in sheep's clothing and a plot where no-one and nothing is what they appear to be. The only novelty is the location, a train rushing through the old West to bring medical supplies to a cholera-infected fort through strikingly snowbound mountain countryside beautifully captured through cinematographer Lucien Ballard's lens. But the fact that so much of the film is simply one of the author's beloved WW2 plots with outlaws and Indians instead of Nazis doesn't matter: it's the telling that counts, and with a tight script and strong direction from Tom Gries that is equally adept at the mystery (more a 'what the heck's going on?' than 'who's behind it all?') as action (most notably a good rooftop punch-up and a spectacular wreck) it's never a dull ride.

Bronson, still making an effort in those days, comes over well, while the strong supporting cast (including John Ford and Sam Peckinpah regular Ben Johnson, as well as Richard Crenna, Charles Durning and Ed Lauter) add a pleasing layer of professionalism and credibility. Even Jill Ireland, never the most interesting of leading ladies, acquits herself well here.

Everyone here has done better work (check out Gries extraordinarily affecting Will Penny or Ballard's work on The Wild Bunch), and it's not a life-changing experience, but that's not the point. This is an audience picture that sets out to entertain you for an hour-and-a-half, and succeeds admirably. And Jerry Goldsmith's terrific and exhilaratingly exciting score

  • his best in the genre - is the icing on the cake.



35 of 40 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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