Romantic tragedy Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, USA, 2005) starred Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal as Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist.
The expressions on Ledger and Gyllenhaal’s faces in this poster encapsulate the love, sadness and unspoken desire at the heart of the film, which tells the story of two men - a cowboy and a farmhand – who fall in love. Their stance and costumes here are effective examples of the acceptable brand of masculine behaviour and dress that is represented in the film, including no eye contact, muted facial expressions, no touch, cowboy hats and lots of denim.
The poster’s tagline - ‘Love is a force of nature’ - echoes the beautiful and sometimes harsh physical and emotional situations faced by the two men. The Rocky Mountains, where much of the film is set, are pictured in the background.
Brokeback Mountain is a very significant film in Ledger’s career. He won many awards for his performance, including the New York Film Critics’ Circle Award and the San Francisco Film Critics’ Circle for Best Actor and Best International Actor from the Australian Film Institute (AFI). He was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role and for the Academy Award for Best Actor, with The New York Times comparing him with Marlon Brando and Sean Penn.
The poster has been signed by the film's director Ang Lee and cast members Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Michelle Williams, Anna Faris, and Linda Cardellini, making it a valuable piece in our collection of Heath Ledger memorabilia.
The film is based on Annie Proulx’s story of the same name, which was published in The New Yorker in 1997.
Notes by Beth Taylor