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Breakheart Pass (1975)

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

Director:

Tom Gries

Writers:

Alistair MacLean (novel), Alistair MacLean (screenplay)
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Cast

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 Rayford Barnes ... Sgt. Bellew
Scott Newman Scott Newman ... Rafferty
Robert Tessier ... Levi Calhoun
Joe Kapp ... Henry
Archie Moore ... Carlos
Sally Kirkland ... Jane-Marie
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Storyline

Train with medical supplies and small U.S. Army unit is heading through Rocky mountains towards plagued Fort Humboldt. Among its passengers are territory governor, priest, doctor and U.S. Marshal with his prisoner, John Deakin. However, nothing on that train is what it seems. Written by Dragan Antulov <dragan.antulov@altbbs.fido.hr>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Revenge. Mystery. Danger. Ambush. See more »

Genres:

Mystery | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

MGM

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1975 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Nevada Pass See more »

Filming Locations:

Williams, Arizona, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (DeLuxe)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The general US release was Feb 13, 1976. Los Angeles opening was March 10 1976, New York May 7 1976. See more »

Goofs

When Bronson is in the rail car finding guns and dynamite the cook comes in and grabs a huge hanging ham. When the cook returns to the kitchen car the ham is 1/3 the size. See more »

Quotes

John Deakin: Dr. Molineaux is dead, two of the Major's best officers are missing, and we can't get through to Myrtle... Nobody heard anything, nobody saw anything, and nobody knows anything. It can only get better.
Gov. Richard Fairchild: Well, maybe they were accidents after all. And we just might have seen the end of it.
[5 seconds later, another fatal 'accident' occurs]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Call Me Angel, Sir (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

It's generally considered to be the odd one out in the list of MacLean's books, but the film adaptation is reasonably worthwhile.
5 February 2003 | by barnabyrudgeSee all my reviews

Alistair MacLean spent most of his novelist days writing wartime suspensers or twisting, turning thrillers. The one book that he wrote which doesn't fit either of those descriptions is Breakheart Pass, a western set aboard a train. This film version of it is surprisingly enjoyable, and features the added bonus of an expressive, colourful characterisation by Charles Bronson.

The train is travelling to a fort in the Wild West with medical supplies to cure an outbreak of a nasty disease. However, some of the soldiers aboard the train are mysteriously disappearing, and anyone who's ever seen a film like this will figure out straight away that there's a murderer on board. Furthermore, the train must make its journey across hostile Red Indian terrain, where a fearsome ambush or a sabotaged stretch of track is only a spear throw away.

Bronson plays a mysterious outlaw who is held prisoner on the train, though there are plenty of clues that he may not be exactly who he says he is. Other well delineated characters are played by Richard Crenna, Jill Ireland, Archie Moore (yes, the boxer!), and Ed Lauter. One truly amazing sequence involves a rooftop scuffle between Bronson and Moore.... indeed most people who have ever seen the film remember it for that sequence more than any other. All things considered, Breakheart Pass is one of the better adaptations of a MacLean novel, admittedly not quite in the same league as Fear is the Key or Where Eagles Dare, but definitely worth seeking out, especially on DVD.


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