|Bronson as the outlaw Deakin.|
Once the train heads toward the snowy peaks, the plot thickens when the physician turns up dead. Deakin, a former lecturer on medicine, recognizes foul play when he sees it: "It's hard to believe, Major, we have a killer aboard." The audience also learns that there is no diphtheria at Fort Humboldt. Instead, a notorious outlaw has taken over the military post and plans to link up with a renegade band of Paiute Indians and attack the train.
|Jill Ireland as the only woman aboard.|
Nothing of that matters, though, as Bronson's Deakin works to expose the killer, clashes with Archie Moore atop the speeding train, and participates in a wild climatic shoot-out. Hercule Poirot had a much easier time aboard the Orient Express!
|Ben Johnson as the marshal.|
One of my favorite stories about Breakheart Pass is from Roger Ebert's book Awake in the Dark. He describes the famous Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's visit to the film's set:
BERGMAN (to BRONSON): Please explain to me what you're doing.
BRONSON: Well, this is a scene where I get shot. So I'm wearing these squibs with fake blood under my shirt, and--but you know all this stuff. You're a director.
BERGMAN: No, no. Please continue. This is all new to me.
BRONSON: You mean you don't use guns in your pictures?