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Brokeback Mountain (2005)

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The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years.

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(short story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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652 ( 78)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 138 wins & 128 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Waitress
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Basque (as David Trimble)
Victor Reyes ...
Chilean Sheepherder #1
Lachlan Mackintosh ...
Chilean Sheepherder #2
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Larry Reese ...
Marty Antonini ...
Timmy
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Rodeo Clown
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Bartender #1
Don Bland ...
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Storyline

Two young men, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, meet when they get a job as sheep herders on Brokeback Mountain. They are at first strangers, then they become friends. Throughout the weeks, they grow closer as they learn more about each other. One night, after some heavy drinking, they find a deeper connection. They then indulge in a blissful romance for the rest of the summer. Unable to deal with their feelings for each other, they part ways at the end of the summer. Four years go by, and they each settle down, Ennis in Wyoming with his wife and two girls, and Jack in Texas with his wife and son. Still longing for each other, they meet back up, and are faced with the fact that they need each other. They undeniably need each other, and unsure of what to do, they start a series of "fishing trips", in order to spend time together. The relationship struggles on for years until tragedy strikes. Written by maisie stewart

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love Is A Force Of Nature

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

13 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secreto en la montaña  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$547,425, 11 December 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,043,761

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$178,062,759
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to an interview that Heath Ledger gave to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Steven Rea, there was a sequence that was filmed for the movie in which Jack and Ennis help some hippies get their car out of a river. According to Ledger, the scene took three days to shoot, and was disliked almost immediately by everyone involved. The scene was written by James Schamus as an attempt to show Jack and Ennis in a heroic situation, but it does not appear in Annie Proulx's original short story, the published screenplay, or the final cut of the movie. See more »

Goofs

When Jack is at the bar, turning around to eye Lureen, just before she approaches him for the first time, soft contact lens are visible in his eyes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack Twist: [kicks the cargo box of his old car] Shit.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Howard Stern on Demand: Building the New Studio (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

D-I-V-O-R-C-E
Written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putman
Performed by Tammy Wynette
Courtesy of Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Powerful and poignant. I wish it knew how to quit haunting my thoughts
20 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

"If you can't fix it, Jack, you gotta stand it"

So goes the adage that Brokeback Mountain's tragic central character, Ennis del Mar (Heath Ledger), lives by. In the summer of '63, two aspiring ranch hands with little to no prospects find themselves work herding sheep upon picturesque Brokeback Mountain. It is a place of desperate loneliness, and as much to their surprise as ours, the two men form a connection over that summer that develops to a lifelong relationship. "Brokeback got us good," remarks Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), during their first reunion that occurs only after four years of longing have passed since the day he and Ennis bade each other gut-wrenching goodbyes. By this time, both men have moved on and married: Ennis to his sweetheart Alma Beers (Michelle Williams) and Jack to rodeo queen Lureen Newsome (Anne Hathaway). They are marriages more of convenience that anything else – society would never, ever accept a relationship such as the one they share in secret.

Ennis knows this better than any other, having been forced by his father at the tender age of nine to look upon the dried up corpse of a man beaten to death by tire iron when it became common knowledge he was living with another man. Over the next twenty years, we watch as Ennis and Jack retreat for fishing trips on Brokeback Mountain, where little fishing is done and where Ennis discovers that he is never as fulfilled as when he's in the company of Jack Twist, drinking whiskey under the moonlight. Despite any romantic ideas Jack might have that the two could settle down together, Ennis, scarred by his experience as a boy, repeatedly pushes Jack away so as to deny himself the happiness of being with the one person he truly, deeply loves. By the time the film closes, you cannot help but feel your heart has been ripped out of your chest: raw, same as Ennis.

With Brokeback Mountain, all the aspects of film-making combine coherently to paint a visual expression of Annie Proulx's sparse prose under Ang Lee's delicate, consummate guidance. Writers Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana don't just adapt the 30-page short story; they expand upon it to fill a two-hour feature, by adding crucial moments that flesh out character and underline drama. Against a backdrop of Rodrigo Prieto's picture-perfect cinematography and Gustavo Santaolalla's emotive, expressive score, the young cast impresses. Gyllenhaal's frustration is palpable, Williams' devastation is incredibly powerful and sympathetic, but the phenomenon here is Heath Ledger: all clenched fist and clenched mouth. It's such an impossibility for him to express emotion that when he does, with his final promise to Jack, it breaks your heart.

After leaving the cinema screening of Brokeback Mountain, I was haunted for weeks by its emotional resonance. Upon a second viewing on DVD, it elicits an even greater reaction. I simply cannot comprehend how, as Ang Lee's obvious masterpiece and what has developed into the most acclaimed film in motion picture history, the Academy could fail to honour this touching, tragic, universally powerful story that carries with it – but never preaches – an important message about love it's own Best Picture statue. It's a travesty we can't fix; a shame we have to stand.


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