An underrated thriller from journeyman director Tom Gries, Breakout ranks among the highlights of Charles Bronson’s ’70s superstardom phase. Bronson plays pilot Nick Colton, bankrolled by a tycoon (John Huston) to rescue his son Jay Wagner (Robert Duvall) who’s been imprisoned in Mexico on trumped-up charges. Aided by Wagner’s wife Ann (Jill Ireland) and an assortment of cohorts (Randy Quaid, Sheree North, Alan Vint), Colton soon discovers that it’s a tough proposition in part due to a phony escape-route scheme run by corrupt warders in which escapees wind up dead. Featuring top-notch action sequences and superior technical credits (cinematography by Lucien Ballard, music by Jerry Goldsmith).
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