Blu-Ray Review: Breakheart Pass

The 1960s were boom time for Charles Bronson. With roles in a string of hits including The Magnificent Seven, The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape and The Sandpiper, his star was definitely in the ascendancy. After a brief sojourn in European cinema he returned to the States. By then in his 50s, Bronson continued to be prolific and carved a new niche as a slightly weathered protagonist. In 1975 he made Breakheart Pass.

A special express freight train is hurtling through the mountain ranges filled with medical supplies and reinforcements for Fort Humboldt, a frontier outpost. Onboard is a notorious outlaw John Deakin (Bronson) who is being taken to the garrison by a local lawman (Ben Johnson). Their fellow travellers include Governor Fairchild (Richard Crenna) and his fiancée (Jill Ireland); the daughter of the fort commander. When he uncovers a plot, Deakin must join forces with Major Claremont (Ed Lauter) to save the day.

Breakheart Pass is a mixture of action thriller, western and ‘murder’ mystery which is propelled by an assured performance from Bronson. The claustrophobic setting of the train contrasts well against the beautiful mountain backdrop. The plot twists and turns as it careers towards its destination, keeping its audience on the edge and their seats. Breakheart Pass is a clever disaster movie which never comes off the tracks.


  • 1080p presentation of the film on Blu-ray, with a progressive encode on the DVD
  • Uncompressed LPCM audio (on the Blu-ray)
  • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
  • A new video interview with critic and author Kim Newman
  • Original theatrical trailer

Breakheart Pass is released on dual format DVD & Blu-ray by Eureka Classics on 14 May.

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