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

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 20 November 1951 (USA)
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 »


(story for picture), (screenplay: episode one) | 11 more credits »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Miss Coleman (as Nancy Davis)


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


M-G-M's star-studded spectacle See more »


Comedy | Drama


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 November 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's a Big Country  »


Box Office


$1,013,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


This film did poorly at the box office, resulting in a loss for MGM of $677,000 ($6.3M in 2016) according to studio records. See more »


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 »


Rosa Szabo Xenophon: Marry me? You don't know anything about me.
Icarus Xenophon: You're a girl. You're pretty and you're modest. What else is there to know?
See more »


Featured in The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story (1951) See more »


God Bless America
Written by Irving Berlin
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User Reviews

Pleasant enough but could've been better
15 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

Well-intentioned anthology film from MGM that lacks a clear focus. It's a collection of short stories that don't seem to have any other point except, I suppose, that the United States is a melting pot and how swell that is. Absolutely nothing wrong with that idea but I feel like more effort could have been put into (a) writing better stories and (b) having the stories connect better to drive home the "we're all different but we're all together" theme. The best anthology films tend to connect their stories and this just doesn't do that well. Still, it's full of old stars and the stories themselves, while not the strongest, are enjoyable enough. Worth a look for classic film fans. Probably kryptonite to cynics.

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