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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Western you can take a date too
I watched this film on AMC. This is AMC cable network's first original production starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. It is a fictional story that everyone will want to watch. The background for this movie is based on historical fact of the time. I knew I was going to watch this western as soon as I read that Robert Duvall was involved in the project...
Published on 6 Oct 2007 by M. A. Ramos

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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars TV movie
Hill's Western becomes a road movie, with all kinds of odd characters, from ugly villains to a friendly musician, but the key to "Broken Trail" is that through a series of circumstances, fate has placed the five Chinese innocent girls in the hands of Tom and his uncle... But the reality is another... Their families sold them to that rat captain heading out to the mining...
Published on 19 April 2008 by Brendan Ray Cyrus


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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Western you can take a date too, 6 Oct 2007
By 
M. A. Ramos (Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I watched this film on AMC. This is AMC cable network's first original production starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. It is a fictional story that everyone will want to watch. The background for this movie is based on historical fact of the time. I knew I was going to watch this western as soon as I read that Robert Duvall was involved in the project.

This movie takes place during the late 1800s. It starts with two horse wranglers played by Duvall and Church. Duvall's character, Print Ritter, is Church's uncle. They decide too wrangle horses and sell them to the British Empire who needed them for the Boer War. In the movie we follow this magnificent heard of horses as they are driven east across beautiful country. During the drive they run into five Chinese women who were being kidnapped from the West Coast and brought to the interior west to serve as prostitutes. The story of our horse drive and the story of five Chinese women become intertwined.

What makes this western special is we see the personal growth of Print Ritter from lonesome cowboy to father figure. And what makes this western unique is we see the story from the view of the female characters. Though the movie did not end exactly as I expected, it was close, yet seemed more real.

This is a must see movie. The story line, acting, scenery, background are all top notch. It was hard for me to believe that this was not very large big screen production.
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110 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable Return To Form For Walter Hill, 2 Nov 2007
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This review is from: Broken Trail [DVD] (DVD)
Magnificent Emmy Award Winner bears comparison with the epic Lonesome Dove- it is a good deal tighter than Dove but without losing it's sense of scale and no skimping on the depth of the main characters.
Robert Duvall plays Print Ritter who together with his estranged nephew Tom Harte(Thomas Haden Church)set out to transport 500 mustang to Wyoming.
However on the way they pick up a group of chinese women bound for a life of prostitution in a mining town,a down on her luck whore(Greta Scacchi) and the attentions of a recently released killer who has a score to settle with the whore.
Stunningly shot on incredibly beautiful locations,this is a wonderful piece of work.Duvall and Church are exceptional,Scacchi does well in a slightly underwritten role and Hill's direction is both fluid and delicate with the characters being well served by Alan Geoffrion's subtle and observant screenplay.Naturally the action is handled superbly,terse and violent as befits its landscape, by a master and sequences of the horses are amazing especially when one falls over in shot.
Essential Viewing
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Broken Trail, 25 Mar 2008
This review is from: Broken Trail [DVD] (DVD)
I stumbled upon this two part television western while looking at other modern westerns on Amazon and noticing the low price and positive reviews, i decided to take a chance. Unlike the other reviewers, i had not seen Lonesome Dove and was not familiar with Walter Hill, but i am very glad that i took the chance on this.
The story of Uncle and Nephew travelling across the old west while taking care of five Chinese girls who would be sold into prostitution is exceptionally well told. Other characters that they interact with along the way such as a caring prostitute and a vicious ex-convict out for revenge enrich the story. The two main characters in particular though are tremendous. Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church both give great career performances, one as the wise and caring old man and the other as the flawed but ultimately well-meaning individual who will come good in the end.
Other reviewers have commented on the cinematography, and i would have to agree that it looks goregeous. The landsacpes add so much to the mood of film and show what can be achieved when you use a setting like that right.
If like me you had never heard of Broken Trail before, i would stongly reccomend that you give it a try, especially if you can get it at a low price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Final Instalment of Duvall's Cowboy Trilogy., 10 July 2010
By 
Bob Salter "Captain Spindrift" (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Broken Trail [DVD] (DVD)
Robert Duvall said in an interview shortly before the television network premier of "Broken Trail", that this was the last of his western trilogy that started with Lonesome Dove(89) and continued with "Open Range"(03). He might also have considered "Geronimo, An American Legend"(93), where he played army scout Al Sieber, who is from the same mould as the other characters. Having watched the first three, you would be hard pushed to see a difference between the characters. They are the same bow legged, crotchety cowboy with a heart of gold. Even his seemingly unique facial mannerisms are repeated. It is as if Duvall has spent many hours in front of the mirror perfecting his ageing cowboy, and then used it again and again as if in a Buffalo Bill Wild West show. He was even at it again recently in "The Road"(09), where the same character seemed to reappear in that futuristic drama. But it works, and Duvall is a very good actor who can get away with it.

In "Broken Trail" a TV mini series in two parts, he this time plays Print Ritter a cowboy who teams up with his nephew Tom Harte, played surprisingly well by Thomas Haden Church, to drive 500 mustangs from Oregon to Wyoming for sale to the British army in the Boer war. The trail as suggested in the title is not without its problems. The cowboys rescue a wagon load of Chinese girls being sold into prostitution. Something that did happen in the old west, when impoverished Chinese families were willing to sell their children for a pittance to be transported to America. The group are then pursued by a particularly brutal gang, who will stop at nothing to get their quarry.

The series is beautifully shot in Canada, which substitutes seamlessly for Oregon and Wyoming. Canada retains much of its pristine wilderness and is perfectly suited to the western genre. The storyline is not a strong one and the characters are not as well drawn as in "Open Range", which was the superior of the two. "Broken Trail" is not lifted by such scenes as the lovely closing scene of the bone china tea cups, that graces "Open Range" so elegantly. But this is an excellent outing none the less in an age when there is a paucity of such westerns. Duvall has done much to lift the genre and has come a long way since he played Lucky Ned Pepper in "True Grit"(69). The action is well orchestrated, the villains are particularly villainous, and there are many scenes of galloping horses with manes flying. You can't really ask for a lot more!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly refreshing Western set at the end of the 19th Century, 6 Sep 2009
By 
J. Moher (Auckland, NZ) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I picked this up as part of a buy up of cheap BD titles on Amazon that had semi-reasonable reviews and proper HD audio tracks (this show having not screened here in New Zealand previously)... Very impressed for a 2-part TV mini-series... Both Robert Duvall & Thomas Haden Church really seemed into their roles and bought a believability to their characters of two (rare) decent humanitarian frontiersmen (Uncle & Nephew), who still aren't perfect, and (as a result of their lives on the frontier) are still prepared to kill when there is no other option. Set at the very end of the Old West era (1898 - typically the massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890 is often considered the official end of the Old West as it was the end of the plains wars with the Native American Indians, but some areas remained unchanged right into the 20th Century), it starts in Oregon and heads north & east through the last untamed area of America at the time and eventually into Wyoming, as Duvall & Haden Church drive a herd of horses to market to make their stake money to buy ranches/land and start new lives...

This is a good solid western, with a strong humanitarian story, and a reasonable amount of harshness and bad luck as well. Duvall & Haden Church face numerous challenges, ethical dilemmas, and life threatening dangers during their journey and for a TV Mini-Series I think this is presented very well and keeps the story moving from one event to another without being unduly hasty... There is also some excellent (dare I say sumptuous) scenes of, well, scenery! The Blu-ray image quality seems very good, and several scenes made me want to start planning a trip to the US just to go up to the North West & Canada to see it for real (most of the movie is filmed in Canada I believe).

Highly recommended for anyone who is a Western Fan or such like... I bought this on a punt (i.e. knew nothing about it except what was on Amazon website) and am really pleased with the buy - will definitely watch it a few more times over the next few years... I didn't even realise how many awards it won or got nominated for, until after I had purchased and watched it!

Based on true events too, apparently...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Western you can take a date too, 6 Oct 2007
By 
M. A. Ramos (Florida USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Broken Trail [DVD] (DVD)
I watched this film on AMC. This is AMC cable network's first original production starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. It is a fictional story that everyone will want to watch. The background for this movie is based on historical fact of the time. I knew I was going to watch this western as soon as I read that Robert Duvall was involved in the project.

This movie takes place during the late 1800s. It starts with two horse wranglers played by Duvall and Church. Duvall's character, Print Ritter, is Church's uncle. They decide too wrangle horses and sell them to the British Empire who needed them for the Boer War. In the movie we follow this magnificent heard of horses as they are driven east across beautiful country. During the drive they run into five Chinese women who were being kidnapped from the West Coast and brought to the interior west to serve as prostitutes. The story of our horse drive and the story of five Chinese women become intertwined.

What makes this western special is we see the personal growth of Print Ritter from lonesome cowboy to father figure. And what makes this western unique is we see the story from the view of the female characters. Though the movie did not end exactly as I expected, it was close, yet seemed more real.

This is a must see movie. The story line, acting, scenery, background are all top notch. It was hard for me to believe that this was not very large big screen production.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars TV movie, 19 April 2008
This review is from: Broken Trail [DVD] (DVD)
Hill's Western becomes a road movie, with all kinds of odd characters, from ugly villains to a friendly musician, but the key to "Broken Trail" is that through a series of circumstances, fate has placed the five Chinese innocent girls in the hands of Tom and his uncle... But the reality is another... Their families sold them to that rat captain heading out to the mining camp, where Kate, an odious saloon owner, bought them from an associate in San Francisco...

Our two cowboys save the girls' lives from rape and take them along on their journey...

With great photography, gorgeous vistas, perilous ground, sensible brave girls, good and decidedly courageous men, great action when it is necessary, and a big confrontation at the climax of the movie, Hill's Western is a must see film for the fans of the genre...
Robert Duvall continues proving that he is a great Western actor who can handle mature and complex characters. He is not the Duke or Clint, but has a style all his own. Thomas Haden Church provides a surprisingly strong performance as the reluctant nephew. He has come a long way from his "Wings" days. Many other reviews detail the plot, so no reason for me to rehash it.

I think the two things I enjoyed most about the film are the scenery (stunning) and the harsh depiction of the West. I always imaginged the West to be a dirty, harsh, tough and dangerous setting. The movie does an excellent job of depicting this reality. If you like other Westerns like Open Range, or Lonesome Dove, then you will enjoy this one as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie, 3 May 2012
By 
Baneville (Birmingham UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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Read several reviews about this film and decided to go for it. Well for the price (purchased bluray version £3.99 Finnish import & yes its in English.No dubbing ) it was great value for money and one of the best western films I have watched.True, gritty and down to earth with some great performances which were not expected.I would easily put this on par with any high profile western films, as it is a good story and the characters grow on you slowly and make you want to know more about them. I is a film that you will watch again and again over the years and enjoy the same each time.
Robert Duvall places it amongst his best performances despite it being little known and I would fully agree.I regard Mr Duvall as very accomplished actor who has never quite been given the true praise he deserves, he immerses himself in every role, makes you believe his character asks the question do you understand what and who I am.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Television Western Mini-Series Keep the Genre Alive, 12 April 2008
By 
David J. Nolan (Devon, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Broken Trail [DVD] (DVD)
I really enjoyed this movie. In my opinion its one of the best westerns made in recent years. Robert Duvall does his now customary 'Gus McRae Act' which I never seem to tire of. Of course he did this in Open Range as well. Thomas Haden Church is great also, completely different to his role in, for example 'Sideways'. The landscape photography, acting and direction are all brilliant. The movie also features at least one 'stand up' all-guns-blazing shoot out. The bad guys are so evil you just can't wait to see if and when they get dispatched to 'the big open range in the sky'.
Bring on more movies like this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Glorious Western, 6 Feb 2011
By 
B. D. Compton "Gettysburg" (Johannesburg,South Africa) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Broken Trail [DVD] (DVD)
One of Walter Hill's best films, which was superbly acted and i thought that Robert Duvall's performance was outstanding, eclipsing that of 'Lonesome Dove' and 'Open Range'. In fact this film was better than 'Lonesome Dove'and far superior to 'Open Range' in that it had more depth and was better produced.

The cinematography was so brilliant that even if one did not like Westerns but enjoyed a good story well told, then this film should not be missed. The ending of the film is superbly done and as another reviewer has stated,not as one would normally expect.

Yes, this film deserves a place in your collection of memorable 'Westerns'.
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Broken Trail [DVD] by Walter Hill (DVD - 2011)
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