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Brosnan was a minimalist, much like Clint Eastwood, and his harsh, almost expressionless face made him perfect for playing mysterious tough guys

The words are spoken by none other than Charles Bronson, perhaps the last actor in the world one expects to say these words. The film is the 1975 Western adventure Breakheart Pass, directed by Tom Gries, and no, Bronson is not playing either Jesus Christ or Mahatma Gandhi in the film, though his initial actions in the film might raise suspicions to that account – Bronson’s character, John Deakin, is kicked, slapped around and then cuffed, tied and relegated to the floor of a train, with nary a protest or hint of violence from the macho star, who just keep repeating that he is non-violent. Bronson films are usually filled with violence of every kind, and Breakheart Pass is no exception; the film has action, adventure, mystery, and yes violence too, but it’s still one of those rarest of rare films: a PG rated Charles Bronson action thriller from the 1970s, and that too just a year after Bronson himself took violence in movies to a new level with his vigilante thriller Death Wish. So, the much toned down nature of Breakheart Pass is truly surprising. The film concentrates on building suspense, rather than in random acts of violence.

The film is adapted from an Alistair MacLean novel and this is one of the most faithful MacLean adaptations, maybe because the author himself wrote the screenplay. MacLean usually writes either suspenseful action thrillers set during WWII, or more contemporary twisty thrillers, Breakheart Pass is the lone MacLean novel set in the Old-west, and though every Maclean novel has an element of mystery involved in it, here, he makes the mystery the main aspect of the film. The film borrows equally from John Ford’s iconic Stagecoach(1939) as it does from Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, which was made into a very popular movie by director Sidney Lumet in 1974.

The plot of the film goes something like this: it’s the 1870’s. A special train is being sent to Fort Humboldt, a frontier outpost, with medical supplies and a relief force to combat the diphtheria that has broken out there. The territorial Governor Fairchild (Richard Crenna) is taking personal charge of the operation, the troops are commanded by cavalry Major Claremont(Ed Lauter). Along for the ride is a U.S. Marshal, Pearce (Ben Johnson), Doctor Molyneux(David Huddleston), Fort Humboldt’s Commanding officer’s daughter, Marica Scoville (Jill Ireland) and Reverend Peabody(Bill McKinney). The train engineer is played by Roy Jenson and the conductor O’Brien is Charles Durning. Governor Fairchild travels in style in a private car with a cook, Carlos (Archie Moore), and a server (Victor Mohica). On the way, they pickup a wanted criminal, John Deakin (Charles Bronson). As the Train makes it journey thought the Rocky mountains, the passengers start getting killed one by one. First, a few of the Major’s soldiers goes missing; then the doctor is found dead; after that, the fireman is thrown from the engine car while the train is crossing a steep wooden bridge. Obviously, there is a killer or a group of killers on the train. It soon become obvious that none of the passengers- including Deakin – are what they appear to be, and neither is the purpose of the journey as clean cut as delivering medical supplies. Deakin turns out to be an undercover government agent (this is revealed pretty early in the film) and it’s up to him to uncover the mystery, which involves corrupt government officials, angry native tribes, illegal arms sales and gold smuggling.

As it is obvious from the plot synopsis, the film boasts of a great star cast , and one of the pleasures of the movie is seeing them play off each other, especially as the mystery deepens and it is left to the audience to guess who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Bronson, Johnson, Lauter, all veterans of Westerns, does great work here, with Crenna, Durning and others lending great support. Jill Ireland, Bronson’s wife in real life and his regular screen partner, lends her feminine charms to this otherwise masculine drama. The film borrows the basic template from Stagecoach – a group of disparate American characters travelling through hostile Indian territory; only here, the Coach is replaced by a smoky train. Also, Bronson’s John Deakin intrudes into their journey in the same way as outlaw, Ringo Kid (John Wayne) does in Stagecoach; Both Deakin and Kid turns out, not to be the bad guys their reputation suggests, and in the end they emerges as the heroes who save the day. The buildup of the suspense set around a train journey is very reminiscent of Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, with Deakin becoming the Hercule Poirot surrogate; investigating the murders\disappearances and unearthing clues to the unfolding mystery. The film also borrows from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Lady Vanishes(1938) – another mystery thriller set on a train, with its themes of espionage and political conspiracies.

Though the film is one of the most faithful adaptations of an Alistair Maclean

novel, It does departs from the novel at several points, the most important one being that it is revealed much early in the film that Deakin is a secret service agent, as opposed to the book where it is revealed only very late. Also, in the novel, Marica is Fairchild’s niece, while it’s changed to a sort of romantic relationship in the movie; Richard Crenna portrays Fairchild as a cunning and resourceful person, while in the novel, he’s a rather stupid coward. Bronson wanted to stick close to the book regarding the revelation of Deakin’s identity, but the filmmakers changed it – much to the chagrin of Bronson – so that the last hour of the film could play as a regular Cavalry Vs. Indians Western. I feel the generic last half hour, which provides us with the typical genre pleasures – chases on horseback, shootings, confrontation with Native tribes, derailing of trains, cavalry charges etc. – is inferior to the suspenseful first hour of the film. The climax is also changed from the novel- where the story ends with a spectacular “Bridge on the river Kwai” style exploding bridge and derailing of a train. Maybe producers didn’t have enough budget to shoot that climax, so they set it around a stationary train.

Though the film concentrates more on suspense, the film still has some great action scenes choreographed by the legendary stunt coordinator Yakima Canutt. Canutt had directed the climactic gunfight in Stagecoach and the Chariot race in Ben-Hur, Breakheart Pass was his last film. Here he designed some spectacular scenes, like the one where the troop carriages are detached from the main body of the train and they crash off the rail line into a ravine. But the most memorable action sequence is the thrilling fight between Bronson and boxing champ Archie Moore on the snow covered train roof-top as the train hurtles along though the mountain pass. The scene is superbly shot by the great cinematographer Lucien Ballard – who had shot great westerns for Sam Peckinpah like The Wild Bunch (1969) . Though the film is set in Nevada, shooting was mainly done in Idaho; and Ballard showcases the beautiful landscape to the optimum. The terrific Jerry Goldsmith score complements the film; it is both rousing and ominous, befitting a suspenseful western adventure. The film is directed by Tom Gries, who started off in television and later made his film debut in the late 60’s with some well respected revisionist movies like the western Will Penny and sports drama Number One, both starring Charlton Heston. But by the mid 1970’s, he had become a very traditional filmmaker; he had made the contemporary crime thriller Breakout with Bronson earlier that year. Here, he does a very efficient job of mixing genres, keeping the narrative straightforward, without going into too many twists or turns. He realizes that, at the end of the day, this is very much an escapist Charles Bronson action\adventure movie and he strives to make it a fresh and enjoyable experience for the audience without disappointing the hardcore Bronson fans- and Gries accomplishes this very successfully.

The film was made at the height of Bronson’s career. After doing supporting parts in very successful ensemble dramas like The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape , The Dirty Dozen etc., Bronson had attained international stardom with Sergio Leone’s Once upon a time in the West. The success of Death Wish(1974) would solidify his American stardom. He was one of the highest paid actors at the time and also the most prolific; in 1975 alone he made three movies, apart from Breakheart Pass and Breakout, he also made Walter Hill’s depression era dram Hard Times. It was also a time when Bronson was trying to expand his image by doing slightly different roles (films) from his regular stone-faced avenging angels; films like Hard Times, White Buffalo, From Noon Till Three etc. were expected to broaden his audience appeal. Unfortunately, none of them, including Breakheart Pass, was commercially successful.

This was the reason why he never became a star of the magnitude and durability of a Clint Eastwood, and he was soon relegated to his bread and butter B action movies and countless Death Wish sequels. Bronson was 53 when he made this movie, and though his face showed the ravages of age – he was never a conventionally good looking movie star to begin with anyway – he was in superb physical shape, clearly evident from the fighting scenes in Hard Times. In this film, he is fully up to the challenges of doing difficult stunts; whether fisticuffs on the roof of the train or gunfights on the horseback. As an actor, Brosnan was a minimalist, much like Clint Eastwood, and his harsh, almost expressionless face made him perfect for playing mysterious tough guys, whether it is the avenging angel Harmonica in Once upon a time in the West or the secret service agent masquerading as an outlaw here. In that regard, Breakheart Pass is one of the best Charles Bronson films, where he is perfect.

Clint Eastwood

You Won’t Believe How Much Clint Eastwood Was Earning Before He Landed His First Leading Role in a Movie

With a career spanning over 6-decades, Clint Eastwood has made a mammoth fortune with his net worth standing at $375M following his contribution to the field of acting, filmmaking, and composing. However, it wasn’t always sunshine and rainbow when it came to his salary in the entertainment industry, especially during his early 20s when he was just starting out as an actor.
Although it took Eastwood a while to land his first acting gig after getting rejected for Six Bridges to Cross, the following year, he made his acting debut in Revenge of the Creature. But after a string of minor and often uncredited roles, his career eventually picked up the pace with the western series Rawhide, for which he wasn’t exactly paid boatloads of money.
Clint Eastwood in Cry Macho

Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood Made $700 per Episode for His First Major Project
While it was Sir Sergio Leone’s Dollars trilogy that earned Clint Eastwood international stardom, prior to playing the lead in the Western, it was his part in Rawhide that put him on the map. And for his role of Ramrod Rowdy Yates, he reportedly made around $700 per episode which approximately adds up to $6000 in today’s dollars that pales in comparison to his huge paydays.
A few years after marking his debut in the hit western, the actor would eventually find himself playing the iconic Man with No Name in 1964’s A Fistful of Dollars, which he agreed for $15000.
Rawhide (1959)Rawhide (1959)
Clint Eastwood Almost Didn’t Return for the The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
For the first installment in his Dollars trilogy, Sir Sergio Leone originally aimed to cast James Coburn in the badass role, but eventually let go of his plans for budget issues, as Coburn charged $25000.
Per BBC (via Farout Magazine), Leone stated,
“I really wanted James Coburn, but he was too expensive. The Italian cinema is very poor. We got Clint for $15,000, Coburn wanted $25,000.”
Following the mammoth success of A Fistful of Dollars, Eastwood’s paycheck witnessed a healthy spike for the sequel, as the studio offered him $50,000. But for the threequel, the Unforgiven Star made an astonishing $$250K following his reluctance to reprise the role in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, with Sir Leone almost recasting Charles Bronson in the role.
Also read: “I don’t like it when it’s dumb”: Yellowstone Star Kevin Costner Revealed He Hates Western Genre Despite Sharing Clint Eastwood’s Rare Record In Hollywood
Clint Eastwood in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)Clint Eastwood | The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Thankfully, the American icon went on to star in the threequel, often considered the best the genre has to offer, and the film became the biggest success of the trilogy, making around $38 Million.
The Dollars Trilogy is available to rent on Apple TV.

 

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Clint Eastwood

Disaster Drama Film Hereafter: Everything You Need to Know

The disaster drama movie “Hereafter,” directed by Clint Eastwood, explores the supernatural and the philosophical. The movie, which came out in 2010, looks at life after death through a series of interconnected stories.
The goal of this blog is to give a full picture of “Hereafter,” including its plot, cast, production information, reviews, and more.


Storyline
“Hereafter” combines three separate stories, all of which are about death and the future. The movie starts with a dramatic scene of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

It then follows the lives of three characters: a French writer who has a near-death experience, a psychic in San Francisco who can talk to the dead, and a schoolboy in London who loses his twin brother. The people in these stories seek answers to life’s most important questions.
Cast Members
Matt Damon plays psychic George Lonegan, who has trouble with his powers. Cécile de France plays journalist Marie Lelay, who survives the tsunami. And Frankie and George McLaren play the London twins, Marcus and Jason.

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In supporting roles, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jay Mohr, and Thierry Neuvic are also in the cast.

 

The story is more interesting by supporting actors like Bryce Dallas Howard, who plays George’s girlfriend Melanie, and Jay Mohr, who plays George’s brother Billy. Their performances are crucial to the movie’s study of relationships and the afterlife.
The Clint Eastwood movie “Hereafter” is known for taking a careful and thoughtful look at the subject. The production was well planned, especially the scene with the wave, which got great reviews for its realistic appearance.
Filming Locations
The movie was made in many places, such as San Francisco, Paris, and London. The different places give the movie’s look at death and the afterlife a global feel.

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Makers Team

 
The movie did well because of Eastwood’s direction, Peter Morgan’s script, and Tom Stern’s cinematography. The people who made this movie collaborated to bring this complicated story to life.

Reviews from Critics and FFans
Critical reviews of “Hereafter” were mixed. Some people liked how big the story was and how Eastwood directed it, but others thought it moved too slowly. It was, however, usually well-received by audiences who liked how reflective it was.
Where to Watch It?
It is possible to watch “Hereafter” on services like Netflix. This thought-provoking movie can be watched from the comfort of people’s homes by many people.
Matt Damon plays George Lonegan in a way that stands out for being subtle and deep. As Marie Lelay, Cécile de France gives an engaging performance that successfully shows the emotional journey of her character.

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Frankie and George McLaren, who are twins, give moving performances that capture the innocence and pain of youth.
 

 
Conclusion
The film “Hereafter” deals with deep and often unanswerable questions about life after death. The movie is a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience thanks to Clint Eastwood’s nuanced direction, the cast’s powerful performances, and the plot that weaves together different lives and experiences.
“Hereafter” is a movie that makes you think and feel deeply, whether you’re interested in its existential ideas or the emotional journeys of its characters.

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Clint Eastwood

Antiques Roadshow tonight – Helen Mirren portrait, vintage skateboards, ‘Queen’s Beasts’

The new instalment sees Fiona Bruce and the team at Clissold Park in the London borough of Hackney.
Among the uncovered gems are some valuable whisky bottles and a unique silver ring, shaped like a parrot, by Mocheh Oved—a piece that evokes nostalgia for John Benjamin.
Lisa Lloyd studies a striking portrait of a young Helen Mirren, while Marc Allum is captivated by an assortment of retro skateboards.
Serhat Ahmet inspects a petite porcelain collection of heraldic figurines named the Queen’s Beasts. Meanwhile, an original Clint Eastwood movie poster emerges as an unexpected treasure.
A pair of artisanal hot combs for styling African-Caribbean hair takes Ronnie Archer-Morgan on a trip down memory lane to his days as a hair stylist.
Lars Tharp’s curiosity is piqued by a ceramic container, once used by doctors to store leeches.
Antiques Roadshow airs at 8PM on BBC Two tonight, 29 October 2023.
The repeat episode, part of the 44th series, originally aired in October 2022.
You can also watch episodes online via the BBC iPlayer here.
Antiques Roadshow will continue next Sunday night on BBC Two with Survivor currently airing on BBC One.

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