6.6/10
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The Missouri Breaks (1976)

PG | | Drama, Western | 22 May 1976 (USA)
Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John McLiam ...
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Si (as John Ryan)
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Pete Marker
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Hellsgate Rancher
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Rancher's Wife
Danny Goldman ...
Baggage Clerk
Hunter von Leer ...
Sandy (as Hunter Von Leer)
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Storyline

Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One Steals, One Kills, One Loves, One Dies

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Missouri  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$14,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After this film, Marlon Brando and Frederic Forrest worked together again on Francis Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979). See more »

Goofs

When Tom and Jane mount the same horse, one in front each other, her modern white underwear appears for a while. See more »

Quotes

David Braxton: This is my fourth frontier and I know how they run. I was in the California gold fields before I was eighteen, I was at the rush at Alder Gulch and I went with the grazing committee to South America. These long ropers in the Missouri Breaks are a mixed bag: barbers from Minneapolis, failed grangers, Scandinavian half-breeds, wolfers and woodcutters, dishonest apprentices, raftsmen, poisoners - you give them a chance and they'll waste everything!
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Connections

Referenced in Blue Nude (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Cast
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User Reviews

 
Deranged on the range
27 January 2008 | by (Dorset, UK) – See all my reviews

As others have hinted, this film is beyond most people's idea of merely quirky. In fact, it's slightly unbalanced and in parts borders on insane... yet somehow what emerges is a film that is just about believable, as are the various colourful characters who act it out. The film is great fun, and its two hours go by quickly.

Being a huge fan of Brando, and an admirer of Nicholson, I end up thinking this film in no way detracts from their illustrious careers and what they've done elsewhere. Having said that, Brando does ham it up in a grand, thoroughly camp style: outlandish costume, inexplicable changes of costume, florid gestures and - as other reviewers have pointed out - weird accents. The accents he uses shift around inconsistently and theatrically (especially the more sustained efforts to sound Irish in his early scenes). But he obviously had fun when making the film. Nicholson's performance is a model of seriousness and sobriety by comparison.

The cinematography is superb, with great use of light and shade in shooting a wonderful landscape. The action is generally slow-paced, but with a heavy sense of impending menace through most of the film. The score is not among the film's stronger points. Dialogue is mostly fresh and original for a 70s era western, and cliché avoided. It is well acted, despite the quirkiness of the script and screenplay.

Perhaps a little odd that the critics slated this film so ferociously at the time it was released. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, made just a few years earlier was (rightly) lauded to the skies, precisely for giving originality, humour and a modern twist to the old western format. That film now seems in some ways more dated than The Missouri Breaks. The latter is not as good a film as Sundance, by a distance, but, for any true fan of cinema, well worth giving it a try.


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