Breakheart Pass 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. Death rode the rails to Breakheart Pass.
Breakheart Pass One thing I do like about Breakheart Pass is that absolutely nobody is who he pretends to be. For the first time viewer, 90% of the fun is figuring just who the good guys and bad guys are on this train to Fort Humboldt in the Rocky Mountains. It’s not revealed until about 75% of the film is done and when it is revealed the action steps up considerably.
A special train is being sent to Fort Humboldt with medical supplies and a relief force as cholera has broken out there. The territorial Governor Richard Crenna is taking personal charge of the operation, the troops are commanded by cavalry Major Ed Lauter. Along for the ride is U.S. Marshal Ben Johnson, Doctor David Huddleston, the Commanding officer’s daughter, Jill Ireland. The engineer is Roy Jenson, the conductor is Charles Durning. Governor Crenna travels in style with a private car with a cook, Archie Moore and a server Victor Mohica. As you can see Breakheart Pass has a good cast.
Marshal Johnson arrests a fugitive, Charles Bronson, before the journey starts and circumstances force him to take Bronson along. People start getting killed on this trip, even before the train leaves and as I said no one is exactly who he seems to be.
Alistair MacLean for a non-American writer managed in this story to get the western ambiance down pretty good. Breakheart Pass combines the best elements of a western and a mystery and I wouldn’t miss it if I was either a western or a mystery fan.