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Big Jim McLain (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, History | 30 August 1952 (USA)
In the post-war Hawaii, House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter hunt down communists.

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Writers:

(quotes from "The Devil And Dan'l Webster"), | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Nancy Vallon
...
Mal Baxter
...
Sturak
...
Madge
...
Robert Henried
...
Poke
Gayne Whitman ...
Dr. Gelster
...
Olaf
Robert Keys ...
Edwin White
...
Lt. Cmdr. Clint Grey
Soo Yong ...
Mrs. Namaka (as Madame Soo Yong)
Dan Liu ...
Dan Liu - Honolulu Chief of Police (as Honolulu Chief Of Police Dan Liu)
...
Mr. Lexiter
Vernon 'Red' McQueen ...
Phil Briggs (as Red McQueen)
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Storyline

U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter attempt to break up a ring of Communist Party troublemakers in Hawaii (ignoring somewhat, as do their superiors in the Congress, that membership in the Communist Party was, at the time, legal in the U.S.) Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a Go-Get-'Em Guy for the U.S.A. on a Treason Trail that leads Half-a-World Away! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jim McLain  »

Box Office

Budget:

$826,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was rushed into release to beat two other John Wayne films, RKO's Jet Pilot (1957), which was not released until 1957, and Republic's The Quiet Man (1952). See more »

Goofs

When Jim and Madge are walking through a hotel lobby, a moving shadow of the boom microphone can be seen on the wall behind them in two shots. See more »

Quotes

Poke: I've had a belly full of this East Texas cotton-chopping jerk.
Jim McLain: Did you ever chop cotton?
Poke: Nah, I'm from the country club set. That chopping cotton's for white trash and niggers!
[McLain punches Poke and a fight ensues]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are displayed as a storm rages and each section of credits is blown away by the wind. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ed Wood (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean
(uncredited)
aka "The Red, White and Blue"
Written by David T. Shaw
Arranged by Thomas A. Beckett
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Crucible
26 February 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Big Jim McLain is a hilariously bad propaganda film. If it was made by the Nazis, the cast and crew would had got medals from Goebbels.

John Wayne surely was doing his best to avoid being labelled as a commie (it was made in conjunction with his own production company.)

Big Jim McLain (John Wayne) and his partner even bigger Mal Baxter (James Arness) are investigators for the House Un-American Activities Committee. They have been sent to Hawaii to round up some local Communists. They visit Dr Gelster a psychiatrist who is treating one of the party members. While there, McLain charms the doctor's secretary, Nancy Vallon (Nancy Olson) and asks her out. McLain and Baxter become targets of the local communist head honcho, really tall Sturak (Alan Napier.)

It is left to James Arness to really ham up his character's anti communist credentials. Oh if only he could get his hands on those reds under the beds. He fought in Korea you know.

Wayne is too busy being a tourist and trying to charm Olson who he met on his first day ashore. Although raucous party girl Veda Ann Borg is also interested to know how big John McLain really is.

Napier is suave and despicable going around in expensive cars treating the lower ranked members of the party with disdain. It is a laughably bad and camp film. You have a nurse who once dabbled with the reds and talks about being a communist like being struck down by a disease. She does penance by working with ill children.

Given the mayhem caused by the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s. Wayne should had burned the negatives.


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