Breakheart Pass (1975)

 


 

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Train with medical supplies and small U.S. Army unit is heading through Rocky mountains towards plagued Fort Humboldt. Among its passengers are territory governor, priest, doctor and U.S. Marshal with his prisoner, John Deakin. However, nothing on that train is what it seems.

Written by
Dragan Antulov <[email protected]>

When a military outpost is struck with a severe outbreak of diphtheria, the authorities send a train loaded with medical supplies and replacement soldiers. As the train is on its way however, a passenger is murdered. And then two passengers; then the entire human cargo of several cars. John Deakin, a man under arrest and being transported to custody, does some digging to find out the reason for the carnage.

Written by
Alfred Jingle

Genre: Western,Mystery,Crime,Action

Breakheart Pass (1975)
   
Release Date: 25 December 1975 (Finland)
Country: USA
Director: Tom Gries
Cast:
  • Charles Bronson
  • Ben Johnson
  • Richard Crenna
  • Jill Ireland
  • Charles Durning
  • Ed Lauter
  • Bill McKinney
  • David Huddleston
  • Roy Jenson
  • Rayford Barnes
  • Scott Newman
  • Robert Tessier
  • Joe Kapp
  • Archie Moore
  • Sally Kirkland


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18 Responses to Breakheart Pass (1975)

  1. brucenadler
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    Any fan of Bronson should check out this amazing video countdown of The Top Ten Badass Bronson Moments in Movie History!

    http://cinemacoolshow.com/CinemaCool/The_Episodes.html

    Don’t get much better than Bronson.

  2. Eric-115
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    One of the things I found unconventional about this film is that we never know exactly who was culpable for which action? Are we to assume that Banlon, Pearce, Henry, Carlos, O’Brien, or Fairchild struck the doctor then murdered him? Or that one of them sawed the coupling off of the troop cars?

    We known Banlon was responsible for Jackson’s plunge to the bottom of the bridge, but we never are fully given flashbacks, or told directly, which, I guess keeps the tension up, but the lack of closure is very unconventional.

    Perhaps the book version sheds light on this?

  3. greig-2
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    Between the guy getting shot through the head and all the other deaths, surprised they got away with the PG.

    And good that they stuck pretty much to the book.

  4. wtl471629
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    Well worth watching. It is shown on tv and I saw it on TCM. I had seen it when it was new and on the big screen. I like those type of train movies and this one was a good one. It had several great former athletes in minor roles. One is Archie Moore who was a championship boxer who plays Carlos the Chef who gets into a great train fight with Charles Bronson. Another is Joe Kapp (who playes Henry the steward) who played on one of Minnesota’s super bowl teams and was coach of California that year they had the famous multiple lateral play that beat John Elway and Stanford. Another is pro football star Doug Atkins who plays Jebbo. He was a defensive lineman and played on the Chicago Bears 1963 NFL championship team before the super bowl existed.

    A good movie indeed.

  5. keith-hewle
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    Can any one tell me which company supplied this locomotive ?

    This is one of the few films where I have seen an authentic depiction of a locomotive, in this case a consolidation probably made by Baldwin, matched to its working environment.

    A heavy freight loco with small driving wheels ideal for steep gradients.

    This design of loco was adopted (‘stolen’ ) by a British locomotive engineer and influenced design to the cessation of steam traction in the UK.

    [email protected]

  6. ValerinAmberz
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    They pass a bridge 3 times in the movie but it looks awfully similar. Is it by any chance the same bridge? :)

    well since you’re naked you might as well f___ a friend of mine. Paul come in here!

  7. heyjohnny40-1
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    I’ve seen this movie countless times over the years and never grow tired of it. Great cast, plot, and one of bronson’s best roles. You never know for some time just who he is and why he is really on the train. A great movie made even better by having Bronson in a great role.

  8. mva1958
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    Watched this last night on TCM and couldn’t help but notice that most of Robert Tessier’s dialogue was dubbed. The one exception was the scene where Tessier/Calhoun is shouting while boarding the train, the rest of his lines seemed to be voiced by Paul Frees.

  9. wtl471629
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    It will be on August 3, 2008 (Sunday) at 4:45 P.M. EST, again on August 4, 2008 (Monday) at 12:40 A.M. EST and again on August 12, 2008 (Tuesday) at 10:30 P.M. Please be sure to check your tv guide for the times in your area. Don’t miss this one if you haven’t seen it.

  10. wtl471629
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    Did he get shot. I did see where Jebbo (who was played by Doug Akins) was shot after he knocked a soldier off his horse. I assume the leader of the Indians might have been shot since they were pursued by the calvary as they fled. But I didn’t see if anything happened to Henry played by Joe Kapp. Can anyone help?

  11. wtl471629
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    It starts at 10:15 P.M. EST. Please be sure to double check your tv guide for the time in your area. Don’t miss this one if you haven’t seen it and watch out for some famous athletes that are in it. It is a good movie worth watching.

  12. tdefores
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    SPOILERS AHEAD:

    I enjoy this movie enormously, but I’ve always thought there was a minor plot hole near the end.

    When Levi Calhoun hears the explosions going off at the train, he and his men mount up and leave the fort. This, of course, allows the colonel to get in and let all the imprisoned calvary troopers free for the final battle.

    Bronson’s character knows Calhoun will come to the train when he hears the battle start–so apparently when he was in telegraphic communications with Calhoun earlier in the film, all this was arranged.

    But what reason would Calhoun have for leaving the fort when he hears the battle for the train begin? And for taking all his remaining men with him and leaving the fort unguarded? There were plenty of Indians available to attack the train and I don’t think Calhoun’s small group would have made a difference. (Of course, I’ll grant that he had no idea there was anyone around who would enter the fort and release the prisoners while they were gone.)

    I’ve always assumed that Bronson somehow talked him into this plan via telegraph, but I’ve never come up with a good line of reasoning for Calhoun’s action. Either he would have gone with the Indians right from the first, or he would have trusted them to ambush the train on their own. Why wait until the

    fighting starts, then ride to the train?

    I am not, by the way, coming down on the film or trying to spoil anyone’s enjoyment of it. I’m just wondering if there is a good explanation for Calhoun’s actions that I’m just not getting. I do realize it’s a fairly minor point.

  13. kayzed
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    At the start of their voyage Bronson’s hands and feet was tied down, but he managed to free himself.

    The next day he was walking among the others, and nobody made any comment about it! Something like: "hey, how did you free yourself?"

    Did you notice it? Why wasn’t anybody surprised at his presence?

  14. BabyRose8361
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    Col Scoville was played by Irv (Irving) Isaac Faling, my great-uncle.

    Since they won’t let me write a bio for him yet and my scanner is broken, I would like to type up his obituary here.

    (taken from the Lewiston Morning Tribune, Lewiston, Idaho USA(sometime between November 9-13, 2001 is when the obituary was printed)) (Also I took out some personal information such as last names and locations)

    Irving Isaac (Duke) Faling, 82, Lewiston

    On Thursday, November 8, 2001, nine days short of his 83rd birthday, Irving Isaac (Duke) Faling told his last tale and passed away peacefully surrounded by family.

    Irv was born Nov. 17, 1918, at the old St. Joseph Hospital on Snake River Avenue to Myron Jay and Louisa. Irv was the youngest of four sons.

    Irv’s adventures began in a tent house with his family on Snake River Avenue, where he attended Webster School. At 8 years old Irv helped support his family by selling newspapers and collecting junk. At 15, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1938, he joined the National Guard in California and went on active duty at Camp Ord, California. He arrived at Pearl Harbor Jan 7, 1942. Irv was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1942 and in 1948 he retired as a lieutenant colonel, continuing to serve in the National Guard for 30 years.

    Irv returned to Lewiston in 1948 and worked for Prairie Flour Mill and various jobs, including being a radio personality for KRLC and as an actor in "Breakheart Pass." Until his retirement in 1980, Irv sold real estate and insurance, including the first auto policy for Safeco Insurance in the Lewiston area.

    Irv was a very active participant in the community including being a member of the Kiwanis Club, Jaycees and was instrumental in starting the first Boys and Girls Club of Lewiston. He was also a charter member of the Robert Newl Lodge No. 96 AF-AM, Scottish Rite, Shriners and Greeters. Just a few of the many offices he held were state president of the Idaho Realtors Association, lieutenant governor of Kiwanis, vice president of Meals On Wheels and 33-degree Mason. Irv also served on various boards of state and national committees.

    Irv was preceded in death by his son, Bruce; wife Florence Hill; brothers, Joseph, Floyd, Clarence (Red) Faling; wife, Leona Lane; and his parents.

    He is survived by his beloved wife Bonnie of 21 years; son, David and Annette; stepson, Paul and Alene; stepdaughters, Lynn and Monte, Jackie; granddaughters, Alison, Camas, Janine,Cassie; and grandson Ian. He is survived by very special step-grandchildren, great grandchildren, favorite nephew Raymond and nieces and nephews who were all a significant part of his life.

    Irv was a very special man who never met a stranger. He freely gave that most special commodity – time. Irv was happiest when he was able to serve others. Our lives were enriched by his friendship. Our goals and aspirations set higher by his encouragement. We learned generosity, patience and understanding by his example. He showed us how to laugh and enjoy life to the fullest, and from him we learned the joy in service to others. He loved and was loved by many, and he will be greatly missed but not forgotton. In his memory, we request that you volunteer some of your time to help others.

    If you took the time to read this, thank you. I felt that he needed to be acknowledged even though this movie was the only one he was in and it was a small part. The last paragraph of his obituary described him the way I will always remember him.

    I love you Uncle (Duck) Duke! (He was known as Uncle Duke or just Duke to family and some close friends. I used to misspell his name when I was younger and write D-U-C-K instead of D-U-K-E.)

  15. MrPie7
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    Basically, the whole plot of this film is highly improbable. Why is Deakin allowed the freedom of the train the whole movie? Whom does this benefit? Certainly not the conspirators, who suddenly have all sorts of unforseen problems the minute that he joins the party. After he points out that the Dr. has been murdered, surely they will lock him up. Nope, he still has the run of the train, meddling in every situation that arises. Even if they are too stupid to connect the dots between Deakin and things starting to go wrong, WHAT is their motivation for letting this guy roam around? If I was Fairchild, I’d have exiled him to one of the troop trailers and assigned several soldiers to be responsible for keeping him there. I enjoyued the film, but I have to suspend my disbelief, just like when I watch a sci-fi movie.

  16. wtl471629
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    Well worth watching. It is shown on tv and I saw it on TCM. I had seen it when it was new and on the big screen. I like those type of train movies and this one was a good one. It had several great former athletes in minor roles. One is Archie Moore who was a championship boxer who plays Carlos the Chef who gets into a great train fight with Charles Bronson. Another is Joe Kapp (who playes Henry the steward) who played on one of Minnesota’s super bowl teams and was coach of California that year they had the famous multiple lateral play that beat John Elway and Stanford. Another is pro football star Doug Atkins who plays Jebbo. He was a defensive lineman and played on the Chicago Bears 1963 NFL championship team before the super bowl existed.

    A good movie indeed.

  17. Charles_Calthrop
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    I watched it on BBC at the weekend; a nice film, but pointless commercially. It wasn’t a Western in the strictest sense, really was it? At least not a standard cowboy and Indian film way. And as a thriller, I think it was really hindered by it’s short length. Maybe the version I saw was cut, but it had all the scenes the novel had, (although the ending went astray from the book), but they all lasted about 2 minutes each and were really hurried. I’d have thought it would have been really confusing if you hadn’t read the book. Still, a nice way to take a western setting and have a Mclean thriller story.

    Did the BBC have a print of the film where the scenes had been shortened? Was it a commercial success?

  18. Southport
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