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Broken Trail

Where to Watch Broken Trail


Broken Trail is a 2006 American Western miniseries directed by Walter Hill and starring Robert Duvall, Thomas Haden Church, and Greta Scacchi. The cast also includes the likes of Julianne Nicholson, Sean Amsing, and Peter Michael Goetz. Broken Trail, produced by AMC in the US and broadcast as a two-part series, is characterized by moody landscapes, engaging characters, and layered storytelling that truly exemplify the ruggedly poetic spirit of the American western genre.

The story of Broken Trail unfolds in the waning days of the Old West. Set in 1898, the miniseries offers a compelling exploration of the epoch through the lens of a classic western, expertly blending elements of sweeping landscapes, daunting journeys, and character-driven narratives. The influence of Walter Hill's remarkable directorial flair and Alan Geoffrion's compelling screenplay cannot be overlooked in the captivating narrative and visual tableau that form the backbone of Broken Trail.

At the center of this epic tale are two gruff yet lovable characters – veteran cowboy Print Ritter, embodied beautifully by Academy Award winner Robert Duvall, and his hapless but well-meaning nephew Tom Harte, played by an equally impressive Thomas Haden Church. Both men have planned out what they hope will be an easy journey, hatching a plan to drive a herd of horses from Oregon to Wyoming. However, life has a way of twisting even the most straightforward endeavours, and so it happens with Ritter and Harte as they find themselves confronted with unexpected responsibilities.

Their journey takes a sudden turn when they cross paths with five Chinese girls being led under the guise of promised employment but are destined for a grim reality. Stricken by their pitiable condition, the duo takes it upon themselves to save the girls from their fate, demonstrating extraordinary humanity in a wild, often lawless world. The addition of these girls to their already challenging journey adds poignancy and depth to the overall narrative. It brings to the forefront the often overlooked issue of human trafficking in the Old West but tells it with a delicacy and nuance that prevent it from overwhelming the central narrative.

Greta Scacchi, in her role as Nola Johns, turns in a wonderful performance as a mature, resilient, yet compassionate woman. Nola is forced into prostitution thanks to a cruel twist of fate, but she continues to fight her circumstances with all her might. Scacchi's portrayal of Nola adds further dimension to the world of Broken Trail and provides a moving counterpoint to the masculine world of Ritter and Harte.

The masterful cinematography of Lloyd Ahern II deserves a special mention. His work on Broken Trail shows a fondness for sweeping vistas and panoramic long shots, which amplify the grandeur and wildness of the American West. Filming predominantly in the scenic locales of Calgary, Alberta, Ahern successfully presents the wilderness as both an adversary and a companion to the characters, embodying a sense of freedom, dread, and awe-inspiring beauty.

The score by David Mansfield enhances the atmosphere of this period epic, incorporating traditional instruments and music styles of the late 19th century to create a thoroughly immersive viewing experience. It interplays with the visuals to convey an authentic sense of the time and setting of the film—one that defines the core experience of Broken Trail.

In conclusion, Broken Trail is more than just a usual Western. By tempering the rough-and-tough masculinity of the genre with heartfelt character developments and sensitive portrayals of traditionally marginalized characters, it transcends its genre trappings to become a universal exploration of human connection, compassion, and personal transformation. It serves to remind viewers of the multifaceted nature of the human spirit and the potential for kindness in unexpected places. Each element—from the casting and performances to the cinematography and music—combine to create an unforgettable viewing experience. A classic American story told with sensitivity and skill, Broken Trail is a miniseries that grabs hold of the viewer's attention and doesn't let go.

Broken Trail is a Drama, Western, Adventure movie released in 2006. It has a runtime of 184 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.7..

How to Watch Broken Trail

Where can I stream Broken Trail movie online? Broken Trail is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Broken Trail for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Uli Edel
Robert Duvall, Thomas Haden Church, Greta Scacchi, Gwendoline Yeo, Chris Mulkey, Rusty Schwimmer, Scott Cooper, Donald Fong, James Russo
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