MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,965 this week

Big Jim McLain (1952)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  30 August 1952 (USA)
5.2
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.2/10 from 1,190 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 8 critic

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 ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(quotes from "The Devil and Dan'l Webster"), , 5 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 17 May 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 10 Feb 2013
 
a list of 44 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 48 titles
created 10 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Big Jim McLain" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Big Jim McLain (1952)

Big Jim McLain (1952) on IMDb 5.2/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Big Jim McLain.

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Major Kirby leads The Wildcats squadron into the historic WWII battle of Guadalcanal.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: John Wayne, Robert Ryan, Don Taylor
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

American ne'er-do-well Joe January is hired to take Paul Bonnard on an expedition into the desert in search of treasure.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: John Wayne, Sophia Loren, Rossano Brazzi
Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A biography of Navy flier-turned-screenwriter Frank W. "Spig" Wead.

Director: John Ford
Stars: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Construction workers in World War II in the Pacific are needed to build military sites, but the work is dangerous and they doubt the ability of the Navy to protect them. After a series of ... See full summary »

Director: Edward Ludwig
Stars: John Wayne, Susan Hayward, Dennis O'Keefe
The Spoilers (1942)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In Nome, Alaska, miner Roy Glennister and his partner Dextry, financed by saloon entertainer Cherry Malotte, fight to save their gold claim from crooked commissioner Alexander McNamara.

Director: Ray Enright
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Randolph Scott, John Wayne
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Quirt Evans, an all round bad guy, is nursed back to health and sought after by Penelope Worth a quaker girl. He eventually finds himself having to choose between his world and the world Penelope lives in.

Director: James Edward Grant
Stars: John Wayne, Gail Russell, Harry Carey
Hellfighters (1968)
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

The story of macho oil well firefighters and their wives.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen
Stars: John Wayne, Katharine Ross, Jim Hutton
Hondo (1953)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Army despatch rider Hondo Lane discovers a woman and her son living in the midst of warring Apaches, and he becomes their protector.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: John Wayne, Geraldine Page, Ward Bond
Action | Western | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Texas Ranger Jake Cutter arrests gambler Paul Regret, but soon finds himself teamed with his prisoner in an undercover effort to defeat a band of renegade arms merchants and thieves known ... See full summary »

Directors: Michael Curtiz, John Wayne
Stars: John Wayne, Stuart Whitman, Ina Balin
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When a commercial airliner develops engine problems on a trans-Pacific flight and the pilot loses his nerve, it is up to the washed-up co-pilot Dan Roman to bring the plane in safely.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Laraine Day
Pittsburgh (1942)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Charles 'Pittsburgh' Markham rides roughshod over his friends, his lovers, and his ideals in his trek toward financial success in the Pittsburgh steel industry, only to find himself ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne, Randolph Scott
Adventure | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American Army officer is recruited by the yet to exist Israel to help them form an army. He is disturbed by this sudden appeal to his jewish roots. Each of Israel's Arab neighbors has ... See full summary »

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Nancy Vallon
...
Mal Baxter
...
Sturak
Veda Ann Borg ...
Madge
...
Robert Henried
Hal Baylor ...
Poke
Gayne Whitman ...
Dr. Gelster
Gordon Jones ...
Olaf
Robert Keys ...
Edwin White
John Hubbard ...
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)
Vernon 'Red' McQueen ...
Phil Briggs (as Red McQueen)
Edit

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:

FILMED in HAWAII and FILLED with EXCITEMENT! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jim McLain  »

Filming Locations:


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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne recorded an advertisement for Camel cigarettes on the set of Big Jim McLain (1952). See more »

Goofs

When Olaf comes out of the house and sees Jim talking to Madge, the background changes between the wide shot of the three of them and the close-up of Olaf getting the axe. See more »

Quotes

Jim McLain: Lot of wonderful things written into our constitution that were meant for honest decent citizens. I resent the fact that it can be used and abused by the very people who want to destroy it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ed Wood (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night
(uncredited)
Music by Stephen Foster
Played during the opening credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
a patriotic wartime counterspy film
14 August 2002 | by (US) – See all my reviews

This was made in the midst of the Korean War and during the 'red scare' days and needs to be viewed in that context. The cold war was on and America had recently lost the security of being the sole nuclear power, the US Army was locked in a dismal stalemate after hordes of Communist Chinese soldiers poured over the Korean border launching a surprise attack against the vastly outnumbered UN forces snatching sure victory from them and pushing them back again into South Korea, Soviet pilots were flying against American pilots for the North Korean Air Force, American and allied soldiers in Europe were facing off against a large Soviet and allied communist army, at home there were fears of war with nuclear USSR and scandals as communist party members with links to Soviet agents were uncovered. This was the mess that America found itself in when this movie was made. This mix led in turn to paranoia, some well founded and some not. The answer to this threat seemed to be the House Un-American Activities Committee that used intimidation to do what it thought was necessary to secure American safety (Perhaps there's a lesson for in it us today as our people give away freedoms for safety) This film therefore should be viewed in the context of the times when it was made and not with 50 year hindsight, as doubtless 50 years from now our children will view at least some of the steps taken in the heightening of security today. While some critics have cited the committee for its violations of civil rights, it should be mentioned that many that have criticized this committee also heap praise upon the film industry for its patriotic films of World War II. Unfortunately this is a hypocritical viewpoint as the anti-Japanese films produced certainly helped produce the fear and paranoia that led to the abuse of Japanese-Americans' civil rights and their internment by their own government. The internment of a whole group is a much worse example of civil rights abuse than calling someone before congress resulting in them losing their job. Such is the narrow-sightedness of those who pick and choose their heroes and villains in black and white. The film in question deals with spies and saboteurs and not with (as one review gave me the impression of) the innocent "small fries". In the film the villains are not the idealists who go to American Communist Party meetings call everyone comrade debate Marx and Engel's viewpoints and who should run for election next fall and then go home to their spouses, but agents acting against the United States, and yes this did exist at the time. (People that had been believed innocent victims of communist 'witch hunts' were indeed shown later to have actually been foreign agents when the Soviet archives were opened after the collapse of communism in the USSR)

While facing the same problems as many other patriotic wartime films it does deliver enjoyable scenes and it is certainly mostly superior to many similar films made during World War II. The plot is generally entertaining but seems to suffer from an identity crisis as to whether it is trying to be more a counter espionage film or a romance film set in beautiful Hawaii. In fact a few parts even seem more reminiscent of a travelogue or a Hawaiian tourist advertisement. Despite this the plot does fill out and provides some entertainment. Wayne's acting is good as is that of most other cast members except for James Arness whose emotional outbursts don't come off as very believable when he gets infuriated about the traitorous party members and possibly Soo Fong also when recounting her personal ordeal about her 'recovery' from communism. She may have been trying to do her best with a script that seems to fall apart on this point of making communism sound like alcoholism or drug dependence. (You can almost picture John Wayne doing an 'intervention' and dragging off Stalin to the Betty Ford Clinic. In some ways this part of the movie reminds more of anti-drug or anti-sex exploitation films that have become cult classics such as Reefer Madness) While not the best, once the plot develops it is entertaining. Overall there are better films (and worse) about similar subjects and many better Wayne films but it is worth watching even if it's just to see one of the Korean-Cold War patriotic films or Wayne as a counterspy.


22 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
narrator? rshaw4969
Marijuana???? cadrega_82
Need Help Big Jim Mc Lain factorielle18
Stewardess on the flight to Hawaii...isn't that..... moviethrush
Discuss Big Jim McLain (1952) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?