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Broken Trail: The Making of a Legendary Western (2006)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Short | TV Short 4 June 2006
Top-rated miniseries! Academy Award® winner Robert Duvall (1983 Best Actor in a Leading Role, Tender Mercies) and Academy Award® nominee Thomas Hayden Church (2004 Best Performance by an ... See full summary »


Dan Appel

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Credited cast:
Robert Duvall ... Himself
Thomas Haden Church ... Himself
Walter Hill ... Himself
Alan Geoffrion Alan Geoffrion ... Himself
Greta Scacchi ... Herself
Scott Cooper ... Himself
Olivia Cheng ... Herself
Gwendoline Yeo ... Herself
Chris Mulkey ... Himself
Allan Graf ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lloyd Ahern II ... Himself
Caroline Chan ... Herself
Wendy Partridge Wendy Partridge ... Herself
Ken Rempel ... Himself
Rusty Schwimmer ... Herself


Top-rated miniseries! Academy Award® winner Robert Duvall (1983 Best Actor in a Leading Role, Tender Mercies) and Academy Award® nominee Thomas Hayden Church (2004 Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role, Sideways) star in this moving Western drama. Set in 1897, Print Ritter (Duvall) and his estranged nephew Tom Harte (Hayden Church) become the reluctant guardians of five abused and abandoned Chinese girls. Ritter and Harte's attempts to care for the girls are complicated by their responsibility to deliver a herd of horses while avoiding a group of bitter rivals, intent on kidnapping the girls for their own purposes. Classic Western action takes center stage in this dramatic miniseries! "ACADEMY AWARD®" is the registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "Emmy"® is the trademarked property of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Short


Not Rated






Release Date:

4 June 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Broken Trail: The Making of a Legendary Western See more »

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danAppelcreative See more »
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User Reviews

A 'Unique Story' & Interesting Documentary
30 December 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

Robert Duvall starts off this half hour behind-the-scenes documentary of the wonderful made-for-cable TV western, "Broken Trail," by saying this was the last in his "trilogy" of western movies, the first two being "Lonesome Dove" and "Open Range." (On a personal note, I find it hard to beat those three for outstanding westerns. They are three fabulous films.)

Co-star Thomas Haden Church comments, "this film looks at the western from a slightly different perspective." "Slightly" is an understatement! Actress Greta Scacchi agrees and adds, "in what is typically a very male ambiance - the western, with the usual tough, hard men - we get to see (female) tenderness (with her character and the four young Chinese ladies) evolve."

One of the Asian-American actresses (they don't say who) explains how thrilled she was to see a western revolve around these young Chinese women. After watching the film and hearing these women speak nothing but Chinese, it was a shock to hear her speak perfect English, describing her thoughts on this movie! Later, the rest of the young women give their thoughts and they all speak perfect English. (There is a reason for it; see below)

"It's a unique story," says Duvall, " and very, very well-cast." Director Walter Hill, on that subject, adds, "I remember Sam Peckinpaugh telling me that 70 percent of directing was casting. I didn't understand that then since I wasn't a director at that time, but I do now."

I enjoyed listening to Hill, Church and the women all talk about how great it was working with Duvall. Few people in the acting profession have more respect than Duvall and several people here tell why the man is "an American institution."

More of the interesting "inside" information included how the professional cowboys got all the horses to do what they wanted; how much of this story was based on real history (i.e. it's true young Chinese women were sold into prostitution here in the U.S. at the time by impoverished Chinese families); the importance of the right wardrobe; the great camera-work; the detail in the production design of the town of Cariboo and the fact that the Asian female actors had to learn to speak Mandarin, since they were Americans!

This is a very good bonus feature on the "Broken Trail" DVD. Don't pass it up.

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