Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) meet during the summer of 1963 in the film Brokeback Mountain when they’re both hired to herd sheep in Wyoming by rancher Joe Aguirre (Randy Quaid). After a long day of work and a late night of drinking, Jack makes sexual overtures towards Ennis, which are initially rebuffed but eventually accepted. Soon after, they find out that their work will be cut short, and part ways.
Soon after, Ennis marries Alma Beers (Michelle Williams), and fathers two girls. Jack moves to Texas where he marries and fathers a son. Four years later, Jack pays a visit to Ennis, where a secret kiss between the two is witness by Ennis’ wife. They discuss the idea of making a life together, but between his fears refusal to abandon his family, Ennis refuses.
Over the ensuing years, the two see each other infrequently, and their respect marriages deteriorate, resulting in Ennis’ divorce from Alma in 1975, after which Jack makes one more attempt to persuade Ennis to start a life together, but is still refused.
Some time afterwards, Ennis learns of Jack’s death, which is left deliberately ambiguous, but which Ennis imagines to have been the result of an attack from a group of homophobic assailants. Ennis pays a visit to the home of Jack’s parents, and finds a long-lost memento of his first meeting with Jack.
Back at home, Ennis’ 19 year-old daughter tells her father that she’s engaged, and asks for his blessing. After a brief discussion and the granting of his blessing, Ennis goes to his closet, contemplating his love of Jack.
“Brokeback Mountain is that rare thing, a big Hollywood weeper with a beautiful ache at its center. It’s a modern-age Western that turns into a quietly revolutionary love story.”
— Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
“Anne Proulx’s 1997 short story in the New Yorker has been masterfully expanded by screenwriters Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana to provide director Ang Lee with his best movie since “Sense and Sensibility” in 1995.”
—Ray Bennett, The Hollywood Reporter
“This is one of the best serious films about homosexuality ever made, but though it’s sad and sobering it’s still only a rough draft of a great movie.”
— Kyle Smith, New York Post
Did You Know?
The film Brokeback Mountain met a huge amount of praise from film critics around the world, but was also feature to much controversy, with various conservative groups around the world denouncing the “agenda” that it supposedly pushed, and was even banned in many countries, ranging from many of the nations of the Middle East to the People’s Republic of China. Other actors considered for the lead roles include Josh Hartnett, Colin Farrell, Matt Damon, Billy Crudup, Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, and Ben Affleck. The film is based on a short story by Annie Proulx, which was published in the 13 October 1997 edition of The New Yorker. Review our Gay Themed Films Here
All pictures reproduced courtesy of Focus Features