Breakheart Pass (film)
|Directed by||Tom Gries|
|Produced by||Jerry Gershwin
|Written by||Alistair MacLean|
|Music by||Jerry Goldsmith|
|Edited by||Byron Brandt|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Release date(s)||December 25, 1975 (premiere in Finland)|
|Running time||95 min.|
Breakheart Pass is an American 1975 western adventure film that stars Charles Bronson, Ben Johnson, Richard Crenna, and Jill Ireland. The movie was based on the novel by Alistair MacLean of the same title, and was filmed in north central Idaho.
In the 1870s, residents of the garrison at the Fort Humboldt Army outpost are supposedly suffering from a diphtheria epidemic. A train is heading towards the fort filled with reinforcements and medical supplies. There are also civilian passengers on the train – Nevada governor Fairchild (Richard Crenna) and his mistress Marica (Jill Ireland), among others.
The train stops briefly in Myrtle, where it takes on board a local lawman (Ben Johnson) and his prisoner, John Deakin (Charles Bronson), a notorious outlaw who was identified via a picture in a newspaper article. However, Deakin is actually an undercover federal agent.
Deakin, along with his partner, the Reverend, discovers en route that there is no epidemic at the outpost and the "epidemic" is actually a conspiracy between a group of killers and a tribe of Indians. One by one, though, men aboard the train keep dying as it steams toward Breakheart Pass.
At Breakheart Pass all hell breaks loose as Indians attack the train (over 400 stolen rifles). The Army train, which lost all its troops in a spectacular crash, is defenseless. Meanwhile, the gold smuggling co-conspirators (hired killers) are signaled by the train whistle, and ride out to take the train. Guns & dynamite erupt in the ensuing battle, and in the end, the pass is littered with carnage as the Indians are left running.
- Charles Bronson as Deakin
- Ben Johnson as Pearce
- Jill Ireland as Marica
- Richard Crenna as Governor Fairchild
- Charles Durning as O'Brien
- David Huddleston as Dr. Molyneux
- Ed Lauter as Major Claremont
- Bill McKinney as Reverend Peabody
- Joe Kapp as Henry
- Archie Moore as Carlos
- Scott Newman as Rafferty
- Sally Kirkland as Jane-Marie
Portions of the movie were filmed in Pierce and Reubens in northern Idaho. Railroad scenes were filmed on the Camas Prairie Railroad (based in Lewiston), using Great Western Railway steam locomotive #75.
Alternating shots of clear and overcast skies are present in the final climactic scenes.
Veteran stuntman Yakima Cunutt performed second unit direction for the film and his son Joe was one of the stuntmen.
- Release date: December 19, 2000
- Full Screen & Widescreen Anamorphic
- Region: 1
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 & 16:9
- Audio tracks: English, French
- Subtitles: English, Spanish
- Running time: 95 minutes
Kino Video will release "Breakhart Pass" for the first time on Blu-ray on August 12, 2014.
- Breakheart Pass at the Internet Movie Database
- Breakheart Pass at AllMovie
- Breakheart Pass at the TCM Movie Database
- Movie review at AlistairMacLean.com