In 1963, just outside Signal, Wyoming, hardened cattle ranch supervisor Joe Aguirre hires two nineteen-year-old farm young boys to tend a big herd of sheep for the summertime on Brokeback Mountain. Hard-working and coarse, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist are eager for the earnings and the camping in open wilderness the task needs. Aguirre appoints Jack to tend the sheep, however needs that he camping tent next to the herd each night to safeguard them from predators. Even more, he firmly insists that Jack do so without a campfire, regardless of the cold temperature levels, to avoid notifying the rangers, who need that the herders remain on designated camping sites miles from the herd.
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Jack can go back to the website for breakfast and dinner, made by Ennis, who is employed to attend and prepare to weekly supply runs. The next day, Jack and Ennis get to know each other over a beverage. Desperate to prevent farm deal with his stringent dad, outgoing Jack earns his living riding rodeo bulls. The more reserved Ennis, orphaned at a young age, was reared by his sis and bro in hardship after the bank foreclosed on their farm. That afternoon, Jack and Ennis pack the mules, saddle the horses and herd over a thousand sheep onto Brokeback Mountain’s large pastures. In the very first couple of weeks, the men settle into a routine with little communication. Ennis just reveals that he is marrying his sweetie Alma in the fall, while Jack rants about the hours travelling in between the herd and camp every day.
On Ennis’ first supply rendezvous, a bear spooks the mules and horse, tossing him to the ground and triggering him to browse for hours for their products. Injured, Ennis returns late to camp, where a worried Jack has the tendency to him. Later on, Ennis, hoping to appease Jack, who is tired of canned beans, shoots an elk for meat and offers to camp with the sheep. As the days linger on, the intimate physical conditions of the camp and nightly bourbon drinking by the campfire open the males to talking and teasing. Jack happily shows his rodeo belt buckle and admits his frustration that his daddy, likewise a bull rider, never pertained to see him ride, while Ennis discloses that he was forced to stop high school to make a living on his own and cares little for rodeoing, which his father disapproved.
Motivated that Ennis has finally opened, Jack mocks his own rodeo enthusiasm with bumbling antics and jokingly calls himself a “sinner” while describing his Pentecostal upbringing, and an unwinded Ennis admits he is still a virgin. One night, Ennis, too drunk to go back to the sheep, tries to sleep by the campfire, but when it dies out, Jack orders the shivering guy into his little tent. Late that night, Jack reaches for Ennis, who quickly withstands however then draws Jack into an enthusiastic kiss and the 2 have fast, rough sex. When Ennis returns to camp that evening after tending the sheep, he tells Jack that their night together was a “one shot thing.” Both silently concur that they are not “queer” and continue their lovemaking that night, more tenderly than before. The men continue to invest their nights together in the ensuing weeks, but after a snow storm hits the mountain, Aguirre, who has found the males in intimate horseplay through binoculars, orders them to bring the herd down early, claiming that more storms are expected. Jack attempts to alleviate the stress by playfully lassoing his sullen enthusiast, however Ennis is so gotten rid of with unfamiliar feelings at the possibility of their summer ending that he strongly punches Jack in the face.
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Having returned the herd to Aguirre, Ennis views Jack’s truck pull away after a general farewell and is soon combating back nausea and tears, unable to accept either his love for Jack or completion of their affair. The next summertime, Jack returns to Aguirre after a year on the rodeo circuit, however the foreman hatefully scolds him for “stemming the rose” with Ennis and refuses to rehire him. Ennis works as a ranchhand and lives with his other half Alma and their 2 child children, Alma, Jr. and Jenny, in a small apartment above a laundromat in Riverton, Wyoming. Withstanding his longing for Jack, Ennis frequently pressures Alma into having anal sex despite her hostility to it and vents his frustration by picking fights with other males. In Texas, Jack marries fearless barrel racer Lureen Newsome and works as a salesman for the Newsome farm equipment business, where he withstands everyday belittlement from Lureen’s dad, L. D. Four years after his summertime on Brokeback, Jack, having heard that Ennis resides in Riverton, sends out a postcard there to schedule them to satisfy when he owns through. On the designated day, Ennis eagerly accepts and kisses Jack upon his arrival as a shocked Alma surreptitiously witnesses the scene. Claiming to Alma that he and Jack will be drinking all night, Ennis instead makes love to Jack at a hotel then returns home the next morning only to state that he is going on a weekend fishing trip, leaving Alma in utter despair. While camping, Jack mentions ranching together, but Ennis stubbornly refuses anything however secretly satisfying a few times a year. He then recounts his daddy’s disgusting warning: When Ennis was a kid, he found out about ranchers Earl and Rich, who lived silently together till other ranchers beat Earl to death to penalize them for their homosexuality. Ennis’ father forced his two young children to see Earl’s mutilated corpse, his penis torn from his body, as gruesome and haunting deterrent from the inappropriate habits.
Considerate, Jack complains that every 4 years is not enough, but Ennis alerts “If you can’t repair it, you got ta stand it.” Ennis and Jack then fulfill numerous times a year in Wyoming for their romantic camping journeys under the pretext of “fishing,” sustaining the long absences. Meanwhile Alma, unable to tolerate Ennis’ emotional distance and rejection to obtain a much better paying task to support the household, divorces him and weds her manager, supermarket owner Monroe. Knowing of Ennis’ divorce, Jack shows up unannounced in Riverton to invest an unscheduled weekend together, but Ennis declares that he must stay in Wyoming for the ladies, who are visiting him that weekend. Heartbroken, Jack seeks solace by checking out a male woman of the street in Mexico.
On Thanksgiving, after dining with Alma, Monroe and the women, Ennis, not able to admit his homosexuality, physically attacks Alma when she finally faces him about his affair with “nasty Jack.” After he fulfills once again with Jack, Ennis explains his growing paranoia that others can sense his homosexuality. When Jack recommends that he begin a brand-new life in Texas, Ennis once again emphatically firmly insists that he can not leave because of his responsibilities. Not long after, Ennis starts dating saucy waitress Cassie and presents her to the now teenage Alma, Jr., who bluntly specifies that her dad will not wed again. On the other hand, Jack, unidentified to Ennis, continues to have love affairs with other closeted homosexuals.
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On among their camping trips, Jack and Ennis, now in their thirties, share a marijuana joint and discuss their unsatisfactory lives. After Ennis notifies him that they can not reunite up until November, not August as they had actually prepared, Jack beseeches his fan to stop creating range in between them. Assuming that Jack is looking for sex somewhere else, Ennis jealously raves, blames Jack for his own homosexual behavior and finally weeps in Jack’s arms. While soothing Ennis, Jack remembers him as he was on Brokeback Mountain, when he enjoyed their inflammation and was comfortable with their love. Later on in Riverton, after Cassie tearfully confronts him for ceasing contact, Ennis, not able to tell her where his love actually lies, offers her no description. Weeks later on, Ennis’ postcard to Jack is returned with “deceased” stamped on it, prompting him to call Lureen for the very first time. Lureen informs him that Jack passed away inadvertently when he drowned in his own blood after a tire rim flew off and knocked him unconscious, however the stunned Ennis believes that Jack was beaten to death for his homosexuality.
Learning that Jack wanted his ashes spread at Brokeback Mountain, Ennis drives to the Twist household’s farm in Lightning Flat, Wyoming to carry out the demand. Jack’s daddy John’s abhorrence of his departed child is obvious as he states that Jack had promised to take control of the household farm with a separated man he fulfilled just recently.
John then refuses to offer Ennis the ashes, however Jack’s demure mom reveals him to Jack’s childhood space, where Ennis discovers a t-shirt he had actually thought was lost on Brokeback, still stained with blood from their battle, hanging inside Jack’s t-shirt. Nestling it, Ennis mourns his fan and go back to Jack’s mom, who silently accepts Ennis’ love for her kid by offering him a bag to bring the keepsake. At some point later on, nineteen-year-old Alma, Jr. visits her daddy in his meager trailer to reveal her approaching marriage and leaves her jacket behind. As he gingerly positions the jacket on his closet shelf, Ennis looks at the 2 t-shirts, Jack’s and his, hanging one inside the other next to a postcard of Brokeback Mountain, still yearning to be with his only and very first love.
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