Synopsis

Based on the short story by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Proulx and adapted for the screen by the team of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, the film tells the story of two young men – a ranch-hand and a rodeo cowboy who meet in the summer of 1963, and unexpectedly forge a lifelong connection, one whose complications, joys, and tragedies provide a testament to the endurance and power of love.

Early one morning in Signal, Wyoming, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist meet while lining up for employment with local rancher Joe Aguirre. The world which Ennis and Jack have been born into is at once changing rapidly and yet scarcely evolving. Both young men seem certain of their set places in the heartland – obtaining steady work, marrying, and raising a family – and yet hunger for something beyond what they can articulate. When Aguirre dispatches them to work as sheepherders up on the majestic Brokeback Mountain, they gravitate towards camaraderie and then a deeper intimacy.

At summer's end, the two must come down from Brokeback and part ways. Remaining in Wyoming, Ennis weds his sweetheart Alma, with whom he will have two daughters as he ekes out a living. Jack, in Texas, catches the eye of rodeo queen Lureen Newsom. Their courtship and marriage result in a son, as well as jobs in her father's business.

Four years pass. One day, Alma brings Ennis a postcard from Jack, who is en route to visit Wyoming. Ennis waits expectantly for his friend, and when Jack at last arrives, in just one moment it is clear that the passage of time has only strengthened the men's attachment. In the years that follow, Ennis and Jack struggle to keep their secret bond alive. They meet up several times annually. Even when they are apart, they face the eternal questions of fidelity, commitment, and trust. Ultimately, the one constant in their lives is a force of nature – love.

Director's Biography

Born and raised in Taiwan, Ang Lee moved to the USA in 1978. After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre from the University of Illinois, he went to New York University to complete a Masters of Fine Arts Degree in film production. His short film FINE LINE won Best Director and Best Film awards at the annual NYU Film Festival and his first feature, PUSHING HANDS, screened at the Berlinale 1992.

Filmography:
2005 BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN
2003 THE HULK
2001 CHOSEN, short
2000 CROUCH TIGER HIDDEN DRAGON
1999 RIDE WITH THE DEVIL
1997 THE ICE STORM
1995 SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
1994 EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN
1993 THE WEDDING BANQUET
1991 PUSHING HANDS
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Cast & Crew

Directed by: Ang Lee

Written by: Larry McMurtry, Diana Ossana

Produced by: Diana Ossana, James Schamus

Cinematography: Rodrigo Prieto

Editing: Geraldine Peroni

Production Design: Judy Becker

Costume Design: Marit Allen

Original Score: Dylan Tichenor

Main Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal (Jack Twist), Heath Ledger (Ennis Del Mar)

Nominations and Awards

  • Screen International Award (for a non-European film) 2005