Saturday, September 18, 2010

1975 - BREAKHEART PASS, good sit in front of the TV western

Alistair MacLean, adapts his western, thriller with Charles Bronson as the star.  A typical MacLean story, lots of double crosses, a mysterious main character and lots of action.  A 13 year old boy's dream movie come true. 

The producers did about everything right on this film.  Extensive on location filming, a very good cast, and top technical people behind the camera.  Probably their only miss was the director Tom Gries a guy who just never really hit the big time like a lot of people thought he would.

Breakheart Pass is really nothing very special when you get right down to it.  But it is fun to see this great cast of character actors. Guys like Ben Johnson, Richard Crenna, Charles Durning, Ed Lauter and David Huddleston.  As was the custom at the time a couple of washed up athletes show up,  Joe Kapp and Archie Moore.  It would  have been an interesting bunch to be on the set with. 

Then there's the star of Breakheart Pass, Charles Bronson.  A working actor until he hit his 50's he had a big box office moneymaker with Death Wish in 1974 and suddenly found himself to be a superstar in the 1970's.  Bronson had enough clout by this time to get his wife Jill Ireland hired as the female lead which was pretty typical behavior for him.  Bronson's kind of phoning it in with his performance in Breakheart Pass but he's still Bronson. 

Breakheart Pass is the final film for the famous stunt coordinator and 2nd unit director Yakima Canutt.  Canutt was pushing 80 when he staged the action for this film but he still had it.  There is a very exciting fight on the top of a snow covered train over a bridge and it's the real deal.

Nothing special except for the cast and the action scenes towards the end Breakheart Pass is a good time killer.

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