Breakdown (I) (1997)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  2 May 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 36,749 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 217 user | 72 critic | 19 from

A man searches for his missing wife after his car breaks down in the middle of the desert.



(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sheriff Boyd
Ritch Brinkley ...
Arleen (as Moira Harris)
Deputy Len Carver
Vincent Berry ...
Helen Duffy ...
Ancel Cook ...
Tow Truck Driver


Jeff and Amy Taylor are moving to California and must drive across the country. When they find themselves stranded in the middle of a desert with hardly anyone or anything around, their trip comes to a sudden halt. Amy had taken a ride with a friendly trucker to a small diner to call for help, but after a long time, Jeff becomes worried. He finds that no one in the diner has seen or heard from his wife. When he finds the trucker who gave Amy the ride, the trucker swears he has never seen her. Now Jeff must attempt to find his wife, who has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. But who can he trust? Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No-one is safe from chance See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence/terror and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 May 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A félelem országútján  »

Box Office


$36,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,307,128 (USA) (2 May 1997)


£2,020,938 (UK) (29 May 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the original script, Red talks briefly to Amy in the gas station store at the beginning of the film. See more »


In a low-angle shot from a car trunk, Earl holds his open palm directly behind the slide of his Beretta as he prepares to fire. Firing a Beretta or any recoil-operated pistol like this would severely injure his hand when the slide snaps backward. See more »


Red: [Jeff forces Red and his family to get into the cellar] You better remember this, fella cuz no matter where you go...
Jeff: You fuck!
[kicks him in the face, sending him falling down the cellar]
See more »


Referenced in Jeepers Creepers (2001) See more »


This Game Of Love
Lyric by Jonathan Mostow and Rachel Lipman
Music by Jeffrey Pescetto
Performed by Robbyn Kirmsse
Produced by Jeffrey Pescetto
See more »

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User Reviews

A nifty thriller, worthy of your time.
31 December 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I spent this Christmas 2004 in Hungary, and watched Breakdown on TV the other night. Yes it was dubbed into Hungarian, but I'd already seen the film in the cinema a few years ago. And you know what? I was still as thrilled watching it in Hungarian as when I saw it in the cinema. Why? Because it tells its story mostly in visuals, this for me is the real power of a good film, using the images to tell the tale.

Kurt Russell is outstanding as the bewildered husband seeking his kidnapped wife, and yes while it reminded me of the superb Dutch film The Vanishing (the original 1988 version not the terrible Hollywood remake), and at times Spielberg's Duel, it still has a real freshness about it, with some great photography and direction.

Well worth a look, possibly Russell's best performance. 9/10

29 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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