68 user 43 critic

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.




Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Goin' South (1978)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Due to the lack of men after the Civil War, a small western town allows a bachelorette with ulterior motives to save a horse-thief from the gallows by marrying him. They must deal with his old gang, the sheriff, the bank - and each other.

Director: Jack Nicholson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenburgen, Christopher Lloyd
Burn! (1969)
Certificate: GP Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to... See full summary »

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Marlon Brando, Evaristo Márquez, Renato Salvatori
The Border (1982)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A corrupted border agent decides to clean up his act when an impoverished woman's baby is put up for sale on the black market.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Valerie Perrine
The Appaloosa (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Man tries to recover a horse stolen from him by a Mexican bandit.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Marlon Brando, Anjanette Comer, John Saxon
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After robbing a Mexican bank, Dad Longworth takes the loot and leaves his partner Rio to be captured but Rio escapes and searches for Dad in California.

Director: Marlon Brando
Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Pina Pellicer
The Chase (1966)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The escape of Bubber Reeves from prison affects the inhabitants of a small Southern town.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The destiny of three soldiers during World War II. The German officer Christian Diestl approves less and less of the war. Jewish-American Noah Ackerman deals with antisemitism at home and ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Dmytryk
Stars: Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Dean Martin
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An intelligent, articulate scholar, Harrison MacWhite, survives a hostile Senate confirmation hearing at the hands of conservatives to become ambassador to Sarkan, a southeast Asian country... See full summary »

Director: George Englund
Stars: Marlon Brando, Eiji Okada, Sandra Church
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Prequel to the Henry James classic "Turn of the Screw" about the events leading up to the deaths of Peter Quint and Ms. Jessel, and the the slow corruption of the children in their care.

Director: Michael Winner
Stars: Marlon Brando, Stephanie Beacham, Thora Hird
Morituri (1965)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A war pacifist is blackmailed to pose as an SS officer and to disable the scuttling explosives on freighter carrying rubber cargo to be captured by the Allies.

Director: Bernhard Wicki
Stars: Marlon Brando, Yul Brynner, Janet Margolin
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Valentine "Snakeskin" Xavier, a trouble-prone drifter trying to go straight, wanders into a small Mississippi town looking for a simple and honest life but finds himself embroiled with problem-filled women.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Marlon Brando, Joanne Woodward, Anna Magnani


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


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


One Steals, One Kills, One Loves, One Dies


Drama | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

22 May 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Missouri  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Kathleen Lloyd. See more »


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


Jane Braxton: I forgot, you do have your whores, don't you?
Tom Logan: Sure do. Like 'em, too.
Jane Braxton: Well, I'll tell you something. If you want them more than you want me...
Tom Logan: I keep telling you, I want them a lot. I don't want you at all.
Jane Braxton: Well, why are you being so mean to me?
Tom Logan: People have been neglecting to tell you what a nasty little bitch you are, and I'm just having to make up for their negligence.
See more »


Oh! Susanna
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Cast
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Worth a look for Brando's Eccentric Performance
26 July 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

'The Missouri Breaks' was filmed from a screenplay by National Book Award-winner Thomas McGuane, whose novels are often characterized as 'revisionist westerns', a sort of sub genre in which the romantic conventions of the western--the noble, idealized hero in the white hat taking on swarthy outlaws or bloodthirsty Indians, occasionally aided by a lone, sage, 'noble savage'-type Indian sidekick--are upended for the sake of a muddier, morally ambiguous, more historically truthful account of 'how the west was won.'

Suffice it to say that there are no heroes in 'The Missouri Breaks.' Our protagonist, Tom Logan (Jack Nicholson), is the de facto leader of a gang of fun-loving outlaws in post-Civil War Montana, pistoleros who make their living stealing horses from wealthy ranchers, laughing all the way, a bit like Robin Hood's Merry Men, only Logan and his boys keep the money and spend it on whiskey and whores. Egomaniacal rancher David Braxton (John McLiam) captures and hangs one of Logan's gang, which retaliates by returning the favor to Braxton's ranch foreman on the same noose. Intent on ridding the country of horse thieves and avenging his friend's murder, Braxton sends for Robert E. Lee Clayton (Marlon Brando), the most feared of the Regulators, mercenary frontier detectives famous for their ruthlessness and their ability to kill suddenly and without warning from long distances with their trademark Creekmore long-rifles.

Posing as an aspiring cattle-rancher, Logan buys an abandoned ranch next to Braxton's property to serve as a relay station for moving stolen horses across the plains. He is left to mind the ranch while his buddies move the latest take of horses, and while busying himself reviving the ranch's garden and orchard, Logan begins a relationship with Braxton's daughter Jane (Kathleen Lloyd). Jane suspects that Logan is an outlaw, which makes him only more appealing to her, as she has grown to resent her father's tyranny, particularly after witnessing the slow death of the young horse thief from Logan's gang.

Enter Robert E. Lee Clayton, one of the strangest and most curious of Marlon Brando's acting creations. 'The Missouri Breaks' was Brando's last starring role before 'Apocalypse Now!' (1979), and was preceded by 'The Godfather' (1972) and 'Last Tango in Paris (1972). Like Coppola and Bertolucci, director Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde) clearly sensed that the best thing to do with Brando the Mad Genius was to sit back and watch. From the moment Brando's Clayton appears--bursting in on the funeral of the murdered foreman dressed like a western dandy in fringed leather coat and scarf, bellowing and yanking the corpse up out of the open casket to borrow a few of the ice cubes used to keep the body from decomposing as a compress for a tooth-ache--we know we are in for some vintage Brando.

Nicholson is typically likable, but he isn't given much to work with; 'The Missouri Breaks' is clearly Brando's show, as he systematically works his way through Logan's gang, farting, spritzing himself with perfume, dressing in drag as a frontier granny, singing love songs to his horse, and delivering odd soliloquy's while constantly munching on carrots. Lee Clayton is comic, but he is also sadistic and perverse. Brando seems to be having the time of his life, and it's a genuine pleasure to watch one of the most brilliant and magnetic screen actors of all time given free reign to fashion the lunatic Clayton.

Like much of McGuane's fiction, 'The Missouri Breaks' has a muted, understated tone disturbed only by acts of brutal, unsentimental violence. The scenes and dialogue are meant to reflect the stark beauty of the Montana plains along the fall line of the great Missouri River (the title of the film refers to the long stretch of the river between the plains and the mountains, the corridor by which Lewis and Clark made their way to the Pacific). The plot is fairly predictable once Lee Clayton arrives and starts hunting the horse rustlers, and so the film's main pleasure is in the acting performances, of which only Brando's is truly exceptional. Nicholson can do no wrong, but Tom Logan is a relatively bland, inarticulate character, and, hidden behind an unruly beard, Nicholson's facial expressions can't compensate for the minimalistic dialogue to create a more distinct character. There is little apparent chemistry between Nicholson and Kathleen Lloyd, who followed this film up with winners like 'Deathmobile' and 'Skateboard: The Movie' before settling into a long string of guest shots on TV. Given all the fun Brando seems to be having, Jack must have felt gypped.

'The Missouri Breaks' is all about Brando, and is well-worth watching just for his scenes. It also features an excellent soundtrack by John Williams ('The Missouri Breaks', interestingly, was Williams' project between 'Jaws' and 'Star Wars') and fine supporting performances by Frederic Forrest ('Chef' in 'Apocalypse Now!'), Randy Quaid (a very much underrated dramatic actor in his younger, pre-'Vacation' days), and cult-favorite Harry Dean Stanton ('Wise Blood,' 'Repo Man,' 'Paris Texas') as Logan's fellow horse-thieves. Jack is Jack--one of the greats, with a career that easily stacks up to Brando's--but here, unfortunately, he's stuck playing the straight man to Brando's nut-case, making the movie a disappointment for viewers hoping to see two of film's finest actors at their best.

64 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: