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Broken Trail
File-Broken Trail DVD cover

Directed By

Walter Hill

Produced By

Michael Frislev
Chad Oakes
Robert Duvall
Robert Carliner
Stan Brooks
Damian Ganczewski

Written By

Alan Geoffrion


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

Music by

Van Dyke Parks
David Mansfield


Broken Trail Wiki

Broken Trail is a 2006 Western miniseries directed by Walter Hill and starring Robert Duvall and Thomas Haden Church. Written by Alan Geoffrion who also wrote the novel, the story weaves together two historical events—the British buying horses in the American West in the late 19th century and Chinese women being transported from the West Coast to the interior to serve as prostitutes—along with a series of Western vignettes.

Filmed on location in Calgary, Alberta, the miniseries originally aired on American Movie Classics as its first original film. Broken Trail received Emmy Awards for Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie (Robert Duvall), and Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries (Thomas Haden Church).


Set in 1898, the film concerns Prentice "Print" Ritter (Robert Duvall), an aging cowboy who wants to buy a ranch of his own. To accomplish this, he agrees to transport 500 mustangs from Oregon to Wyoming, where he will sell them to the British Army. He recruits his estranged nephew, Tom Harte (Thomas Haden Church), to join him, hoping to reconnect with him on the ride.

What starts out as a simple horse drive is complicated when Print and Tom encounter a particularly vile slaver who is transporting five Chinese girls to a lawless mining town, where they will face a life of prostitution and indentured servitude. After he tries to steal their money and horses and is killed, the girls are left to be dealt with. Compelled to do the right thing, Print and Tom rescue the women and take them in, but as they continue their perilous trek across the frontier, they are tailed by a vicious gang of outlaws sent by the whorehouse madam who originally paid for the girls.