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?


Archie Moore (I) was 58 years old when he wrestled atop the train with Charles Bronson, 53 at the time. See more »


The stovepipe of the caboose faces the front of the train. Cabooses are always positioned with the stovepipe to the rear so that smoke doesn't blow into the cupola. See more »


Deputy U.S. Marshal Nathan Pearce: Well, let's get her done.
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

Fine Action Western On A Train.
7 September 2013 | by AaronCapenBannerSee all my reviews

Based on Alistair MacLean's novel about a troop train transporting soldiers and medical supplies to a plague ridden fort, that is threatened by hijackers and other secrets from various characters like the territorial governor, doctor, and a mysterious prisoner.

Featuring a fine cast that includes Charles Bronson, Richard Crenna, Jill Ireland, Charles Durning, and Ed Lauter, this suspenseful and action filled western thriller(directed by Tom Gries) is great fun all the way, and also has a twist laden plot to keep the viewer guessing.

Some graphic violence at times, but intelligently done, and beautifully filmed on real snowy locations. If you love trains, you can't miss this one!

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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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