Behind the Scenes
The filming of Broken Trail was as much an adventure as the story it tells. The project began when film legend Robert Duvall and screenwriter Alan Geoffrian swapped stories of little known western history over lunch one day. 18 months later in the blustery foothills of the Canadian Rockies, Duvall and Oscar-nominee Thomas Hayden Church were stepping into the roles of Print Ritter and Tom Harte under the direction of Emmy Award-winning director Walter Hill.
Authenticity was key to the filming. The town of Cariboo was constructed with old time buildings brought in from real western towns and set pieces constructed with 19th century tools. Duvall and Hayden Church did their own riding. And the actresses portraying the Chinese girls performed in Mandarin and drew on family histories to bring true depth to their portrayals.
While cold, rain, and snow were a constant challenge for the cast and crew, the big test for Hill was directing a herd of horses. Drawing on the help of world-class wranglers and using a long lens smeared with a bit of tobacco to add period grit, Hill elevated the herd and their range from beautiful backdrop to major characters in this unforgettable motion picture event.