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Breakheart Pass (1975 film)

Breakheart Pass (1975 film)

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Encyclopedia
Breakheart Pass is an American 1975 western
Western (genre)
The Western is a genre of various visual arts, such as film, television, radio, literature, painting and others. Westerns are devoted to telling stories set primarily in the latter half of the 19th century in the American Old West, hence the name. Some Westerns are set as early as the Battle of...

 adventure
Adventure
An adventure is defined as an exciting or unusual experience; it may also be a bold, usually risky undertaking, with an uncertain outcome. The term is often used to refer to activities with some potential for physical danger, such as skydiving, mountain climbing and or participating in extreme sports...

 film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 that stars Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson , born Charles Dennis Buchinsky was an American actor, best-known for such films as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Rider on the Rain, The Mechanic, and the popular Death Wish series...

, Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson (actor)
Ben "Son" Johnson, Jr. was an American motion picture actor who was mainly cast in Westerns. He was also a rodeo cowboy, stuntman, and rancher.-Personal life:...

, Richard Crenna
Richard Crenna
Richard Donald Crenna was an American motion picture, television, and radio actor and occasional television director. He starred in such motion pictures as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Body Heat, the first three Rambo movies, Hot Shots! Part Deux, and The Flamingo Kid...

, and Jill Ireland
Jill Ireland
Jill Dorothy Ireland was an English actress, best known for her many films with her second husband, Charles Bronson.-Life and career:Born in London, England, Ireland was the daughter of a wine importer...

. The movie was based on the novel by Alistair MacLean
Alistair MacLean
Alistair Stuart MacLean was a Scottish novelist who wrote popular thrillers or adventure stories, the best known of which are perhaps The Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare, all three having been made into successful films...

 of the same title, and was filmed in north central Idaho
North Central Idaho
North Central Idaho is an area which spans the central part of the state of Idaho and borders Oregon, Montana, and Washington. It is the southern half of the Idaho Panhandle region and is rich in agriculture and natural resources. Lewis and Clark travelled throughout this area on their journey to...

.

Plot


In the 1870s, residents of the garrison at the Fort Humboldt Army outpost are supposedly suffering from a diphtheria
Diphtheria
Diphtheria is an upper respiratory tract illness caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae, a facultative anaerobic, Gram-positive bacterium. It is characterized by sore throat, low fever, and an adherent membrane on the tonsils, pharynx, and/or nasal cavity...

 epidemic. A train is heading towards the fort filled with reinforcements and medical supplies. There are also civilian passengers on the train -- Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 governor Fairchild and his mistress Marica (Jill Ireland
Jill Ireland
Jill Dorothy Ireland was an English actress, best known for her many films with her second husband, Charles Bronson.-Life and career:Born in London, England, Ireland was the daughter of a wine importer...

), among others.

The train stops briefly in Myrtle, where it takes on board a local lawman and his prisoner, John Deakin (Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson
Charles Bronson , born Charles Dennis Buchinsky was an American actor, best-known for such films as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Rider on the Rain, The Mechanic, and the popular Death Wish series...

), a notorious outlaw who was identified via a picture in a newspaper article. However, Deakin is actually an undercover federal agent along with his partner, the Reverend, and he 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
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

.

Production


Portions of the movie were filmed in Pierce
Pierce, Idaho
Pierce is a city in Clearwater County, Idaho. Elias D. Pierce and Wilbur F. Bassett made the first discovery of gold in Idaho , on Orofino Creek in 1860, a mile north of Pierce....

 and Reubens
Reubens, Idaho
Reubens is a city in Lewis County, Idaho, United States, on the camas prairie. The population was 72 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Reubens is located at ....

 in northern Idaho
North Central Idaho
North Central Idaho is an area which spans the central part of the state of Idaho and borders Oregon, Montana, and Washington. It is the southern half of the Idaho Panhandle region and is rich in agriculture and natural resources. Lewis and Clark travelled throughout this area on their journey to...

. Railroad scenes were filmed on the Camas Prairie Railroad
Camas Prairie Railroad
Camas Prairie Railroad Company was a short line railroad in northern Idaho jointly owned and operated by Northern Pacific Railway and Union Pacific Railroad. The Camas Prairie Railroad was known as the "railroad on stilts" due to the many wooden trestles. In one five mile stretch, there were...

 (based in Lewiston
Lewiston, Idaho
Lewiston is a city in and also the county seat of Nez Perce County in the Pacific Northwest state of Idaho. It is the second-largest city in the northern Idaho region, behind Coeur d'Alene and ninth-largest in the state. Lewiston is the principal city of the Lewiston, ID - Clarkston, WA...

), using Great Western Railway steam locomotive
Steam locomotive
A steam locomotive is a railway locomotive that produces its power through a steam engine. These locomotives are fueled by burning some combustible material, usually coal, wood or oil, to produce steam in a boiler, which drives the steam engine...

 #75.

Alternating shots of clear and overcast skies are present in the final climactic scenes.

Main cast

  • Charles Bronson
    Charles Bronson
    Charles Bronson , born Charles Dennis Buchinsky was an American actor, best-known for such films as Once Upon a Time in the West, The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, Rider on the Rain, The Mechanic, and the popular Death Wish series...

     as Deakin
  • Ben Johnson
    Ben Johnson (actor)
    Ben "Son" Johnson, Jr. was an American motion picture actor who was mainly cast in Westerns. He was also a rodeo cowboy, stuntman, and rancher.-Personal life:...

     as Pearce
  • Jill Ireland
    Jill Ireland
    Jill Dorothy Ireland was an English actress, best known for her many films with her second husband, Charles Bronson.-Life and career:Born in London, England, Ireland was the daughter of a wine importer...

     as Marica
  • Richard Crenna
    Richard Crenna
    Richard Donald Crenna was an American motion picture, television, and radio actor and occasional television director. He starred in such motion pictures as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Body Heat, the first three Rambo movies, Hot Shots! Part Deux, and The Flamingo Kid...

     as Governor Fairchild
  • Charles Durning
    Charles Durning
    Charles Durning is an American actor. With appearances in over 100 films, Durning's memorable roles include police officers in the Oscar-winning The Sting and crime drama Dog Day Afternoon , along with the comedies Tootsie, To Be Or Not To Be and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, the last two...

     as O'Brien
  • David Huddleston
    David Huddleston
    David William Huddleston is an American actor, best known for his roles in Blazing Saddles, Santa Claus: The Movie and The Big Lebowski.-Early life:...

     as Dr. Molyneux
  • Ed Lauter
    Ed Lauter
    Edward Lauter is an American actor. He has appeared in numerous movies and was a stand up comic before getting into acting.Lauter was born in Long Beach, Long Island, New York...

     as Major Claremont
  • Bill McKinney
    Bill McKinney
    Bill McKinney is an American character actor whose most famous role was the sadistic mountain man in the movie Deliverance...

     as Reverend Peabody
  • Joe Kapp
    Joe Kapp
    Joseph Robert Kapp is a former professional American and Canadian football quarterback. He is also a former college football head coach of the University of California, and a former general manager of the CFL's BC Lions. Kapp played primarily with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings and the CFL's BC Lions...

     as Henry
  • Archie Moore
    Archie Moore
    Archie Moore, born Archibald Lee Wright , was light heavyweight world boxing champion who had one of the longest professional careers in the history of that sport....

     as Carlos
  • Scott Newman
    Scott Newman (actor)
    Alan Scott Newman was an American film and television actor and stuntman, best known for his roles in The Towering Inferno and Breakheart Pass. He was the only son of Academy Award-winning actor Paul Newman...

     as Rafferty
  • Sally Kirkland
    Sally Kirkland
    Sally Kirkland is an American film and television actress.-Early life:Kirkland was named after her mother, fashion editor Sally Kirkland, who was a fashion editor at Vogue and LIFE magazines, and was raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her father, Frederic McMichael Kirkland, worked in the scrap...

     as Jane-Marie

DVD

  • 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

Soundtrack


A limited edition (3,000 run) CD soundtrack of Breakheart Pass, highlighting the original music of Jerry Goldsmith
Jerry Goldsmith
Jerrald King Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring....

, was released by La-La Land Records
La-La Land Records
La-La Land Records is an American record company based in Burbank, California . The company specializes in film and television soundtracks. The label is run by Michael V...

. It is out of print.

See also

  • List of American films of 1975
  • Alistair MacLean
    Alistair MacLean
    Alistair Stuart MacLean was a Scottish novelist who wrote popular thrillers or adventure stories, the best known of which are perhaps The Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra and Where Eagles Dare, all three having been made into successful films...

  • Jerry Goldsmith
    Jerry Goldsmith
    Jerrald King Goldsmith was an American composer and conductor most known for his work in film and television scoring....

  • Breakheart Pass (novel)
    Breakheart Pass (novel)
    Breakheart Pass is a novel by Alistair MacLean, first published in 1974. It was a departure for MacLean in that, despite the thriller novel plot, the setting is essentially that of a western novel, set in America in the 19th century. Fans of Maclean will recognize the usual plots twists,...