Breakheart Pass (1975)

A pretty okay, not too terrible snow Western based on an Alistair MacLean novel. It’s better than being hit with a shovel. It’s also kind of a train mystery, as well as a vehicle for Charles Bronson to strut his stuff. Most of the characters aren’t what they seem and I won’t spoil the revelations. What I can say is that a whole pack of Very Important People (a governor, a US Marshal, military officers, etc.) along with a crew of grunt soldiers are on their way by train to a California frontier outpost that’s been crippled by a diphtheria epidemic. Along the way, people on the train keep disappearing or dying and about the only person who seems interested in investigating what the hell is happening is Chuck Bronson as a freshly arrested fugitive wanted for murder and who also happens to be a doctor.

You’re gonna have to buy some real whoppers to make sense of this and the climactic action scene steps in a few cow patties, but it’s half-decent entertainment with a good cast that includes Richard Crenna, Ben Johnson, Charles Durning and Ed Lauter in memorable parts. In smaller roles look for giant shaved-headed man mountain (and frequent bit player in biker flicks) Robert Tessier as a cold-blooded outlaw and legendary boxer Archie Moore as the train’s chef.