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J. Lee Thompson
Trish Van Devere,
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In this strange western version of JAWS, Wild Bill Hickok hunts a white buffalo he has seen in a dream. Hickok moves through a variety of uniquely authentic western locations - dim, filthy,... See full summary »
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Peter R. Hunt
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Peter R. Hunt
Jay Wagner is framed by the mob and sent to prison in Mexico. His wife, Ann tries to get him out. She then turns to bush pilot Nick Colton for help. And Colton is all to eager to do it. But the men who framed Jay will do what they have to make sure he doesn't escape. Written by
CHUCK SMILES!! A superb lightweight mid-70ies action-movie!
Recently I saw BREAKOUT again (I think the 3rd time in app. 20 years) and I liked it even more than I did remember! It's a really pleasant lightweight action-"comedy" and it shows a side of CHUCK, which many people have forgotten over the years: that he's a humorous guy and loves a smile once in a while.
When CHUCK made this one, he was the hottest ticket on earth. DEATH WISH I, the movie which defined the 70ies (alongside with THE GODFATHER), had drawn lines in front of cinemas and made millions and millions around the globe and the one he did right after that box-office smash was BREAKOUT. His status as # 1 box-office star also shows in this perfectly made movie, it has one of the best camera-works in any Bronson-movie and the supporting cast (Bob Duvall, John Huston, Randy Quaid, ...) is stellar and does a wonderful job, too. The music is composed by Jerry Goldsmith, who did quite a number of other scores for Bronson-movies, and Goldsmith is at the peak of his creative powers in the early to mid-70ies. The no-nonsense direction is delivered by veteran-director Tom GRIES, who made BREAKHEART PASS with CHUCK a little later (another nice one, but not as good as this movie).
Of course the story is nothing special, just another prison-flight-movie, but that's not the point. Dismissed as lightweight entertainment, critics in the 70ies (when great action-pics were not uncommon, contrary to today) completely overlooked the above achievements and turned down the wonderful good-natured performance CHUCK delivers in this one.
Just take the scene, in which nose-up Jille IRELAND arrives at his lot, Randy Quaid is just burning stinking fish (!) and a dirty Bronson with a smile (and a worthless cheque) engages in truly funny dialogue with his real-life wife. BREAKOUT has many such moments and the action scenes, which come in at a perfect timing, are also well-staged and well-delivered.
Looking at this movie, one can't resent the idea that everybody on the set must have had a great time and any audience will have the same great time watching CHUCK smile and deliver a truly beautiful performance while kicking ass only once in a while in this rather untypical Bronson-movie.
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