6.6/10
8,143
72 user 51 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:

Arthur Penn

Writer:

Thomas McGuane
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Marlon Brando ... Lee Clayton
Jack Nicholson ... Tom Logan
Randy Quaid ... Little Tod
Kathleen Lloyd ... Jane Braxton
Frederic Forrest ... Cary
Harry Dean Stanton ... Calvin
John McLiam ... David Braxton
John P. Ryan ... Si (as John Ryan)
Sam Gilman ... Hank Rate
Steve Franken ... The Lonesome Kid
Richard Bradford ... Pete Marker
James Greene ... Hellsgate Rancher
Luana Anders ... Rancher's Wife
Danny Goldman Danny Goldman ... Baggage Clerk
Hunter von Leer Hunter von Leer ... Sandy (as Hunter Von Leer)
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Duelo de gigantes See more »

Filming Locations:

Billings, Montana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$14,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Devon/Persky-Bright See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warren Oates and Harry Dean Stanton were originally touted to star in this movie, in the parts played by Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando. 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

Hellsgate rancher: They call this country Hell's Gate. When my dad came in here, it was nothing but a bunch of savage Indians. And Jesuits. Old Thomas Jefferson said that he was a warrior so his son could be a farmer, so *his* son could be a poet. And I raise cattle so my son can be a merchant, so his son can move to Newport, Rhode Island and buy a sailboat and never see one of these bastard-ass sons of bitching mountains again.
Si: Who was Thomas Jefferson?
Hellsgate rancher: A guy back east.
See more »


Soundtracks

Oh! Susanna
(uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Performed by Cast
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User Reviews

 
Much better than most would have you believe
19 July 2003 | by zetesSee all my reviews

This film has suffered some pretty undue criticism. It gets the dreaded `BOMB' rating in Leonard Maltin's guide, followed by `The worst film of a great director.' I haven't seen more than a couple of Penn's other films, so I can't comment on that, but it is hardly a bomb. Sure, it is a little slow moving, and it doesn't quite feel like the themes of the film were totally panned out, but most of the film is very good. I'm assuming Brando's the problem with most of the film's detractors. Wow, is his performance weird here. If you ever wanted to find the missing link between The Godfather and Apocalypse Now, here it is. He plays a bounty hunter of sorts hired to discover some horse thieves and murderers. This character is very eccentric, and I'm guessing that Brando had a lot of artistic input on this one based on his later career. He's basically a psycho killer, and he seems much more lawless than the criminals he's seeking. He also speaks with an Irish brogue, some of the time. Personally, the waxing and waning accent is my only real problem with the role, and I'm not a big accent baby anyway. It's a tiny flaw in what is otherwise a very interesting performance. Brando creates a very memorable character. Jack Nicholson plays his rival. He's almost ready to go straight, having found a nice, small ranch and a girlfriend (Kathleen Lloyd). His performance is subdued, and I really think Nicholson is best when he's like that. This isn't his greatest performance, but it is subtle and it's very good. The flaws of the film are offset by the number of great scenes in it. Almost every single actor gets one scene alone with Brando, and both Randy Quaid and Harry Dean Stanton deliver excellent performances especially in those scenes. Nicholson's two best scenes are also alone with Brando. I would guess than he had something to do with their co-star; I do think Brando deserves some credit for the excellence of these scenes. Penn's direction is nothing to write home about. I love the two other films I've seen by him, Mickey One and Bonnie and Clyde, but, let's face it, he was more or less ripping off the Italian and French cinemas of the time, respectively. Missouri Breaks is much more straighforward in that respect, and perhaps it is here that it could have used a boost of energy. 8/10.


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