John Deakin is being transported, as a prisoner, on a train with supplies and medicine to Fort Humboldt, Nevada.


Tom Gries


Alistair MacLean (novel), Alistair MacLean (screenplay)





Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles Bronson ... Deakin
Ben Johnson ... Marshal Pearce
Richard Crenna ... Gov. Richard Fairchild
Jill Ireland ... Marica
Charles Durning ... O'Brien
Ed Lauter ... Maj. Claremont
Bill McKinney ... Rev. Peabody
David Huddleston ... Dr. Molyneux
Roy Jenson ... Chris Banion
Rayford Barnes ... Sgt. Bellew
Scott Newman Scott Newman ... Rafferty
Robert Tessier ... Levi Calhoun
Joe Kapp ... Henry
Archie Moore ... Carlos
Sally Kirkland ... Jane-Marie


After a sudden outbreak of diphtheria, the authorities dispatch an express train carrying reinforcement soldiers and medical supplies through the frozen West across the Rocky Mountains to aid the remote garrison of Fort Humboldt. Along with the troops, there are also aboard Governor Richard Fairchild; the outpost commander's daughter, Marica; the squad's captain, Major Claremont; the U.S. Marshal, Pearce, and his mysterious prisoner, John Deakin. Indeed, this was supposed to be a routine operation; however, before long, in this confined but well-guarded place, missing officers and unexplained deaths start to shroud the mission with mystery and suspicion, as an unstoppable unknown killer is picking them off one by one. Who is the murderer in their midst? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Revenge. Mystery. Danger. Ambush. See more »


Mystery | Western


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Railway scenes were shot on the Camas Prairie Railroad around Lewiston, ID. See more »


The glass on the rail cars is modern style pane glass and the not the "wave" style glass that was universally used in the 19th century. Additionally, many more cars have windows in them than would for that type of train during that time period. See more »


John Deakin: You hurt?
Maj. Claremont: Only my dignity.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut for an 'A' certificate with the removal of a bloody head shooting and a shot of Claremont slashing Fairchild with a sword. Video releases featured the same cut print though DVD versions are fully uncut. See more »


Featured in Behind the Action: Stuntmen in the Movies (2002) See more »

User Reviews

Thinking that I was going to see a Western helped ...
23 June 2005 | by cengelmSee all my reviews

... to add to the mystery. The film starts slow without boring the customer. We are introduced to some of the characters who will enter a military support train from Arizona(?) to Fort Humboldt, California. The train will pass only wild mountain landscape so that there is no leave. Mysterious things start to happen and we don't know what's behind, a situation roughly comparable to A LADY VANISHES from Hitchcock. So it's more a Thriller and Murder Mystery located in the Old West than a real Western. Bronson does a good job and handles the increasing action well, the other actors give some good but not great performances. The film would be better and more credible with some less mystery events and particularly less carcasses on the train. Why not dump them in the wilderness!? It must have smelled. But overall good and well shot entertainment.

Quite popular in Germany.

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Release Date:

25 December 1975 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Breakheart Pass See more »

Filming Locations:

Williams, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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