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It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (1951)

5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 311 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables... See full summary »

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(story), (screenplay), 11 more credits »
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Title: It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (1951)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan
Keefe Brasselle ...
Sgt. Maxie Klein
...
Texas
...
Miss Coleman (as Nancy Davis)
...
Rev. Adam Burch
...
Icarus Xenophon
...
Rosa Szabo Xenophon
Marjorie Main ...
Mrs. Wrenley
...
Joe Esposito
...
Mr. Callaghan
...
Professor
...
Stefan Szabo
Lewis Stone ...
Church sexton
...
Mr. Stacey
...
Michael Fisher
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Storyline

The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables represent a broad cross-section of the American experience: the elderly woman whose pride is injured when she's forgotten in the latest census; the novice minister more pleased with the sound of his own voice than with the needs of his congregation; the mother who confronts the illogic of racial intolerance when she meets the best friend of the son she lost to war; and the enigma that is Texas. Episode titles are: 1) Interruptions, Interruptions; 2) Census Taker; 3) Negro Story; 4) Rosika, the Rose; 5) Letter from Korea; 6) Lone Star; (7) Minister in Washington; 8) Four Eyes; a further episode, titled Load, directed by Anthony Mann, with 'Jean Hersholt' (q.v.) and 'Ann Harding' (q.v.), was filmed but deleted. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's a Big Country  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When the census taker asks Ethel Barrymore her name, she replies "Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan" and he writes it down. Always with censuses, a woman's given name is entered. See more »

Connections

Edited into A Letter from a Soldier (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

God Bless America
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
See more »

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User Reviews

 
But it's a WASP-y collection of actors
7 May 2009 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

This movie seems like a good idea -- debunking myths and defusing prejudice, showing us all how diverse America is -- but it also begs the question of why nearly all the main characters are WASPs (okay, except for S.Z. Sakall)! Janet Leigh is lovely in the Hungarian-Greek love story, but why not cast someone Hungarian, or at least Eastern European? And Gene Kelly as a Greek (speaking, by the way, with a perfect American accent, but a few stiff phrases thrown in to show he's a foreigner)? Fredric March as an Italian father (named Esposito?) ... and the list goes on. All wonderful actors, but miscast in this. Not only are all the actors as white as snow, the rhetoric is pretty heavy-handed, too. I love many of the old Hollywood movies, but this one could have used a more realistic approach. The '50s were a strange time in American film, as in American life. Everything and everybody were supposed to be sparklingly clean and chipper all the time. We had to wait until the '60s for a wrench to be thrown into those oh-so-smoothly-functioning works ...


5 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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