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Breakheart Pass
(1975)
Album Cover Art
1997 Bootleg
2006 La-La Land
Album 2 Cover Art
2013 Kritzerland
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Performed by:
The Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
(Bootleg)
(1997)

La-La Land Records
(May 4th, 2006)

Kritzerland Records
(April, 2013)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
A number of bootlegs with contents identical to those featured in this review circulated in the late 1990's, with at least three different variations on cover art. The 2006 La-La Land album was limited to 3,000 copies and retailed for $20, though that price escalated to $50 or more after the product sold out. The 2013 Kritzerland album was limited to 1,000 copies and retailed primarily through soundtrack specialty outlets for an initial price of $20. It sold out within days.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if ten minutes of an outstanding Jerry Goldsmith Western theme is worth the cost of acquiring a rare album for an otherwise surprisingly generic suspense score.

Avoid it... if you have never been able to appreciate Goldsmith's similarly prominent Western themes in his many other efforts in the genre, because Breakheart Pass really offers nothing else of interest.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,551
WRITTEN 7/22/09, REVISED 6/25/16
Goldsmith
Goldsmith
Breakheart Pass: (Jerry Goldsmith) It's amazing that studios continued milking the genre of the Western well into the 1970's despite audience disinterest in dusty tales from the old West. They did everything they could to alter the equation, sometimes yielding frightfully bizarre and comedic results. One more conventional experiment was Tom Gries' 1975 adaptation of an Alistair MacLean story, Breakheart Pass, that transitioned cult movie icon Charles Bronson from his Death Wish fame into a saddle, though he still played predictably into the role of reluctant killer for the betterment of humankind. This time, he's a secret service agent embroiled in a complicated plot involving weapons on a train, raiding parties interested in that and other loot, and double crossing agents of the law and the train that make Bronson's life difficult at every turn. Throw Bronson's real-life wife Jill Ireland into a helpless role and round out the supporting cast with a strong collection of veteran actors and Breakheart Pass is decent entertainment. It's especially appealing to fans of old railroad pictures, for the filming of the production in Idaho resulted in some spectacular locations in which to shoot dangerous fistfights and battles without the assistance of special effects. One crew member who always seemed inspired by trains was Jerry Goldsmith, whose music for Westerns persisted into the dying days of the genre. His career had already been littered with many Western scores, some of which considered classics while others never gaining much traction. Usually present in these scores is a strong theme, and the composer doesn't disappoint in Breakheart Pass. In fact, so attractive is Goldsmith's primary idea for this score that everything else he provides for the picture sounds completely generic by comparison. It's a classic case in which an extremely memorable theme has to carry the entire load of a score, and the success or failure of the soundtrack depends on how frequently and creatively the composer adapts that idea into the non-title portions of the work. Unfortunately, Breakheart Pass only rarely lets rip with full statements of Goldsmith's fantastic theme, but those highlights make the endeavor worthwhile. On screen, some editing rearrangement of the score by the director solved this issue to a degree. It's always difficult to rate a score like this, because its highlights are so outstanding and the rest of it so mundane and mediocre.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
106 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.01 Stars
***** 15 5 Stars
**** 26 4 Stars
*** 28 3 Stars
** 20 2 Stars
* 17 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1997 Bootleg Tracks   ▼Total Time: 45:32
• 1. Main Title (2:33)
• 2. The Train (5:01)
• 3. First Troubles (4:02)
• 4. The Search (2:55)
• 5. Steam Rollin' (2:24)
• 6. A True Adversary (0:58)
• 7. No Epidemic (5:39)
• 8. Who Are You? (0:43)
• 9. The Boxcar (7:12)
• 10. A Long Wait (1:28)
• 11. New Problems (1:46)
• 12. Breakheart Pass (0:58)
• 13. The Gunrunners (3:55)
• 14. Stalking (1:29)
• 15. A Lonely Agent (4:22)
2006 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 46:33
2016 Kritzerland Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 55:03

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The bootleg variations did not contain any official packaging, usually consisting of a single-page slip cover. The inserts of the 2006 La-La Land and 2013 Kritzerland albums include information about the score and film.
Copyright © 2009-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Breakheart Pass are Copyright © 1997, 2006, 2013, (Bootleg), La-La Land Records, Kritzerland Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/22/09 and last updated 6/25/16.
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