2,274 user 292 critic

Brokeback Mountain (2005)

The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years.



(short story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 138 wins & 127 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Basque (as David Trimble)
Victor Reyes ...
Chilean Sheepherder #1
Lachlan Mackintosh ...
Chilean Sheepherder #2
Larry Reese ...
Marty Antonini ...
Rodeo Clown
Bartender #1
Don Bland ...


Two young men, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, meet when they get a job as sheep herders on Brokeback Mountain. They are at first strangers, then they become friends. Throughout the weeks, they grow closer as they learn more about each other. One night, after some heavy drinking, they find a deeper connection. They then indulge in a blissful romance for the rest of the summer. Unable to deal with their feelings for each other, they part ways at the end of the summer. Four years go by, and they each settle down, Ennis in Wyoming with his wife and two girls, and Jack in Texas with his wife and son. Still longing for each other, they meet back up, and are faced with the fact that they need each other. They undeniably need each other, and unsure of what to do, they start a series of "fishing trips", in order to spend time together. The relationship struggles on for years until tragedy strikes. Written by maisie stewart

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Love Is A Force Of Nature


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

13 January 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Secreto en la montaña  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$547,425, 11 December 2005, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


There was an audible gasp at the Academy Awards when presenter Jack Nicholson read out Crash (2004) as 2005's Best Film over this film, much fancied. Nicholson himself admitted to being shocked as he too had voted for Ang Lee's film. See more »


The two teams playing football on TV during the Thanksgiving Day dinner are the CFLs Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Allouttes. Obtaining the rights to NFL footage is very expensive for just a few seconds of background footage. See more »


[first lines]
Jack Twist: [kicks the cargo box of his old car] Shit.
See more »


Referenced in The Art of War II: Betrayal (2008) See more »


Capriccio Espagnol, op. 34
Composed by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Arranged by Jim Long
Performed by Philharmonica Slavonica
Courtesy of Point Classics LLC
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Cold Harsh Mountain
18 February 2006 | by See all my reviews

Brokeback Mountain Directed by Lee Ang Screenplay adapted by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana Based on the short story by Annie Proulx

Starring Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway & Michelle Williams

Having read the original short story by Proulx a few years ago, I was surprised by how well a tale of love between two cowboys set against a panoramic Wyoming backdrop was told. When I learned that the 60-page short story would become a film directed by celebrated director Lee Ang, I hoped it would be made soon.

By now, most people would have associated Brokeback Mountain with gay forbidden love. The truth is, Brokeback Mountain is just a very simple tale of arduous love and anyone with an ounce of emotion should watch.

The union of director Lee Ang, scriptwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, and the cast results in one of the most exquisite and endearing films made in the last few years.

Lee Ang possesses the talent for slow, intricate and subtle film direction. He pays attention to almost every aspect from simple small gestures to complex emotional strife set against the magnificent mountain view.

McMurtry and Ossana also adapted the story faithfully except for the fact that the two male leads were originally much less desirable than Ledger and Gyllenhaal with bucked-tooth and stocky bodies.

The assembled cast is the third link which leads the film to flight. Heath Ledger, the stoic straight-man type is caught unexpectedly in a tangled web of emotions for a fellow cowboy, something that had never crossed his less-than-queer mind. A man of few words, Ledger plays Ennis to perfection when he displays the inner turmoil that Ennis encountered trying to live his life the way it is and learning to love Jack. Every time Ledger breaks down and cries in the film, it's when you'll feel him.

Jake Gyllenhaal is the hopeful companion who prays for the day that the union could yield the type of permanence he so craved for instead of "one or two of high-altitude f**ks once or twice in a year." And he waited for 20 years until the audience shares his anguish and unfulfilled yearnings by the time he lashed out on what they ever have left is Brokeback Mountain.

Michelle Williams plays the silent, long-suffering wife who witnessed the earth-shattering and ultimately heartbreaking kiss shared between Ennis and Jack after 4 years of separation. Williams is exceptionally sorrowful, swallowing her unspoken hurt until she could hold it no more that she wanted to hear the truth out of Ennis' mouth years after her remarriage. Williams' acting prowess is certainly validated by the expression she showed at the instance of that unexpected kiss and the heart-wrenching exchange with Ledger.

Anne Hathaway plays a rich girl whose expertise is in making money not relationships. Given her short screen time, her change from a brash rich girl to a high-society career woman and finally a emotionless and grieving widow expands her acting abilities beyond her impish Princess Diary-self.

Many unions, liaisons and break-ups later, Brokeback Mountain emerges as a tragic yet bittersweet and endearing tale of love between four suffering people afflicted with varying degrees of attachment but all not willing to let go. To me, this suffices as more than a gay cowboy story. To enjoy Brokeback Mountain, an open mind and eyes are definitely pre-requisites. (A+)

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