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Breakheart Pass (film)

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Title: Breakheart Pass (film)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: 1997 in film, Richard Crenna, Charles Bronson, Yakima Canutt, Chikao Ōtsuka, La-La Land Records, Robert Tessier, Casey Tibbs, List of American films of 1975, 2012 in film
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Breakheart Pass (film)

Breakheart Pass
Mort Künstler
Directed by Tom Gries
Produced by Jerry Gershwin
Elliott Kastner
Written by Alistair MacLean
Starring Charles Bronson
Ben Johnson
Richard Crenna
Jill Ireland
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Cinematography Lucien Ballard
Editing by Byron Brandt
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) December 25, 1975 (premiere in Finland)[1]
Running time 95 min.
Country United States
Language English

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 wrecked Army train, which lost all its troops in a spectacular crash, is defenseless. Meanwhile, the gold smuggling, co-conspirators (killers) hear the battle (from a Ft. Humboldt siege), and ride out to take the train..(leaving the detained troops free to do as they will..) Guns & dynamite erupt in the ensuing battle, and in the end, the pass is littered with carnage as the Indians are left running.



Portions of the movie were filmed in Pierce and Reubens in northern Idaho.[2] Railroad scenes were filmed on the Camas Prairie Railroad (based in Lewiston), using Great Western Railway steam locomotive #75.[3]

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

Home media


  • 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


A limited edition (3,000 run) CD soundtrack of Breakheart Pass, highlighting the original music of Jerry Goldsmith, was released by La-La Land Records. It is out of print.[4]

See also


External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • AllRovi
  • TCM Movie Database
  • Movie review at
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