6.6/10
7,981
71 user 50 critic

The Missouri Breaks (1976)

PG | | Drama, Western | 22 May 1976 (USA)
Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Goin' South (1978)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Due to the lack of men after the Civil War, a small western town allows a bachelorette with ulterior motives to save a horse thief from the gallows by marrying him. They must deal with his old gang, the Sheriff, the bank, and each other.

Director: Jack Nicholson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Mary Steenburgen, Christopher Lloyd
The Border (1982)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A corrupt border Agent decides to clean up his act when an impoverished woman's baby is put up for sale on the black market.

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Harvey Keitel, Valerie Perrine
The Appaloosa (1966)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Man tries to recover a horse stolen from him by a Mexican bandit.

Director: Sidney J. Furie
Stars: Marlon Brando, Anjanette Comer, John Saxon
The Fortune (1975)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Two bumbling hustlers in the 1920s attempt to gain the fortune of an heiress. Nothing will stop them, not even murder.

Director: Mike Nichols
Stars: Stockard Channing, Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty
The Chase (1966)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The escape of Bubber Reeves from prison affects the inhabitants of a small Southern town.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, Robert Redford
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Ben du Toit is a schoolteacher who always has considered himself a man of caring and justice, at least on the individual level. When his gardener's son is brutally beaten up by the police ... See full summary »

Director: Euzhan Palcy
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Janet Suzman, Zakes Mokae
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After robbing a Mexican bank, Dad Longworth takes the loot and leaves his partner Rio to be captured but Rio escapes and searches for Dad in California.

Director: Marlon Brando
Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Pina Pellicer
Burn! (1969)
Certificate: GP Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The professional mercenary Sir William Walker instigates a slave revolt on the Caribbean island of Queimada in order to help improve the British sugar trade. Years later he is sent again to... See full summary »

Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Stars: Marlon Brando, Evaristo Márquez, Renato Salvatori
Ironweed (1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An alcoholic drifter spends Halloween in his home town of Albany, New York after returning there for the first time in decades.

Director: Hector Babenco
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Carroll Baker
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Three cowboys, mistaken for members of an outlaw gang, are relentlessly pursued by a posse.

Director: Monte Hellman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Cameron Mitchell, Millie Perkins
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two Navy men are ordered to bring a young offender to prison, but decide to show him one last good time along the way.

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Randy Quaid, Otis Young
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A daydreamer convinces his radio personality brother to help fund one of his get-rich-quick schemes.

Director: Bob Rafelson
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lee Clayton
... Tom Logan
... Little Tod
... Jane Braxton
... Cary
... Calvin
... David Braxton
... Si (as John Ryan)
... Hank Rate
... The Lonesome Kid
... Pete Marker
... Hellsgate Rancher
... Rancher's Wife
Danny Goldman ... Baggage Clerk
Hunter von Leer ... Sandy (as Hunter Von Leer)
Edit

Storyline

Tom Logan is a horse thief. Rancher David Braxton has horses, and a daughter, worth stealing. But Braxton has just hired Lee Clayton, an infamous "regulator", to hunt down the horse thieves; one at a time.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

One Steals, One Kills, One Loves, One Dies

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Missouri  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$14,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Towne did an uncredited re-write of Thomas McGuane's screenplay. See more »

Goofs

When Marlon Brando and Randy Quaid are crossing the Missouri River, there, far in the distance, cars driving on an interstate can be seen. See more »

Quotes

Jane Braxton: I forgot, you do have your whores, don't you?
Tom Logan: Sure do. Like 'em, too.
Jane Braxton: Well, I'll tell you something. If you want them more than you want me...
Tom Logan: I keep telling you, I want them a lot. I don't want you at all.
Jane Braxton: Well, why are you being so mean to me?
Tom Logan: People have been neglecting to tell you what a nasty little bitch you are, and I'm just having to make up for their negligence.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Brando (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Cast
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Unusual western that entertains with its anti-heroes
9 September 2006 | by See all my reviews

Seeing the movie for the second time after a break of some twenty plus years, I realized that I was watching a film that deserved more attention than it has received over the decades. Apart from the fact that it contains one of the finest lines in cinema "You know what woke you up? You just had your throat cut!" most reviewers have logically zoomed in on the obvious—the swaggering performance of Marlon Brando at the peak of his career and an overshadowed but endearing performance of Jack Nicholson. Yet the film belongs not to these two worthies but to Arthur Penn, the director.

Penn seems to be constantly attracted by characters that are out of the ordinary—those who are constrained either physically or mentally ("The Miracle Worker," "The Chase" "The Little, Big Man," "Night Moves" etc.). He loves anti-heroes. In "The Missouri Breaks" there are three anti-heroes—a rustler, a cross-dressing bounty hunter, and a gay rancher who reads "Tristam Shandy" but serves as judge and jury as he metes out death sentences to make his little world better to live in.

One would assume in a film studded with such unlikable characters that Penn would paint them black. Penn does the opposite—he manipulates the viewer to sympathize with the bad guys. Nicholson's horse rustler is smart—he knows the circumstances when a gun would have a bullet in it. He knows how to court a woman by brewing Chinese tea in the Wild West. Brando's bounty hunter is equally erudite—he carries a book on ornithology while horseback as he watches eagles seek its prey through binoculars, just as he follows desperadoes before he moves in to his kill. The ranch owner, with a gay lover on the ranch, is a good father and well read with 3500 works of English literature in his library. What a weird set of anti-heroes! One would have expected good women to balance the bad guys. The women of Penn have shades of gray—"Missouri Breaks" is no exception. The leading lady seems to be fascinated by the bad guys and "demands" sex. Another rancher's wife has illicit sex with a guest.

The final sequence of two important characters leaving for different destinations after checking out where they would be 6 months hence leaves the viewer guessing of what would happen. Penn's films tend to end with a perspective of a detached outsider, making the characters quixotic and the end open to several viewpoints.

Brando was a treat to watch—only his "Quiemada" (Burn) appealed to me more among all his films. Interestingly, in both films Brando had problems with the director and took matters in his own hands.

The music and screenplay are in many ways a tribute to the rising fame of the spaghetti Western and therefore quite stunning—also because of the very interesting and intelligent use of sound editing. The opening fifteen minutes of the film underline this argument, although this is a Penn film and not a Sergio Leone film.

All in all this film is a major western as it has elements that never surfaced in most others—women who were not mere attractions, the effect of carbines on those shot by them, and of course the slow death by hanging, in contrast to the lovely countryside (stated by the leading lady). This western entertains in a way most others do not. (Exceptions are William Fraker's "Monte Walsh", "Will Penny," and Altman's "McCabe and Mrs. Miller"). Thank you, Mr. Penn and all those that contributed to making this deceptively interesting film so enjoyable.


33 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 71 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page