Curiosities | ‘Brokeback Mountain’, romantic drama with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, turns 16 in 2022

‘The Secret of Brokeback Mountain’ is one of the best-known films of the 21st century and also one of the most acclaimed.

Directed by The Lee, the neo-romantic dramawestern portrays the complex emotional and sexual relationship between two American cowboys, named Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, in the Midwest of the 1960s. Played by Jake Gyllenhaal e Heath Ledger in renditions that would go down in history, the feature film follows the two protagonists working as herders on a farm in Wyoming and how they hid who they really were from the world, maintaining a romantic affair for more than twenty years.

The production was highly acclaimed by experts and garnered eight Oscar nominations, including Best movie (whose defeat received harsh criticism by several journalists and scholars). Lee won the award for best direction and the film also won the statuettes of Best Adapted Screenplay e Best Original Soundtrack. In addition to being a considerable box office success, the production was included in several best of the year and decade lists.

Despite having premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2005, the work arrived in Brazilian cinemas in 2006. And, to celebrate its imminent sixteenth birthday, the CinePOP prepared a short list with some behind-the-scenes facts for you to check.


Enjoy watching:

  • When asked if he had any fears about playing a gay man, Ledger replied that he wasn’t afraid, just that he wasn’t mature enough to do the role justice.
  • Ledger e Michelle Williams They met and fell in love on the set of the film. Williams had the couple’s daughter, Matilda, shortly after the production premiered. However, they broke up in 2007.

  • To author Annie proulx sent Gyllenhaal and Ledger an autographed copy of the original novel. When he signed Jake’s copy, he wrote, “for Jake.” But when he signed Heath’s copy, he signed “for Ennis.” After writing a personal message to each of them, he realized what he had done and decided not to change it.
  • the legendary actor Daniel Day-Lewis appointment ‘The Secret of Brokeback Mountain’as one of his favorites – particularly for Ledger’s performance.
  • William asked the two main actors to kiss in front of her to help her build the emotional personality of her character, Alma.

  • Ledger rejected any homophobic jokes made to the film and story at the Oscars ceremony, as he believed the comments detracted from the importance and beauty of this love story.
  • Contrary to the expectations of many people, the film did not win the Oscar for Best movie, losing the prize to ‘Crash: No Limit’. Allegedly, there was a gasp of shock and disappointment from the audience. Jack Nicholson, who introduced the category that night, also commented that he was surprised since he had voted for Lee’s film.

  • Ledger commented that the script of ‘The Secret of Brokeback Mountain’ It was one of the best I’ve ever read in my life.
  • The work was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry, by the Libraria do Congresso, in 2018, for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. By 2020, the title had become the latest to be awarded such an honor.
  • Before Gyllenhaal and Ledger were cast as the leads, actors like Josh Hartnett, Colin Farrell, Matt Damon, Billy Crudup e Ben Affleck were considered to star in the film.

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