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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.

Director:

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
Hal Baylor ...
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

According to a March 1952 Variety news item, this was to be the first in a series of films of Wayne-Fellows Productions for release by Warner Bros. The news item speculated that Warner Bros. had agreed to release the film after the studio and John Wayne failed to agree on a project to fulfill Wayne's one-picture-a-year contract. See more »

Goofs

Early in the film, when they're flying into the Hawaiian Islands, the stewardess points out Molokai Island "on the left" and Oahu "on the right", but the views out the windows show the opposite. Otherwise, the plane would have to be flying backward. 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

Closing credits epilogue: The Incidents in this motion picture are based on the files of the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Congress of the United States. Names and places have been changed. We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of this Committee. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood on Trial (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

The Year of Jubilo
(uncredited)
Traditional
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Take it for what it is
13 April 2008 | by (Hamilton OHIO) – See all my reviews

While Big Jim McLaine was made during the early Red Scare years of the Fifties, it still would have been a good action movie without the topical headlines that helped promote it. The villains could have been gangsters or hoodlums and nobody would have taken the position that maybe these people were just misunderstood. Granted, John Wayne may have been outspoken in his politics, but his movies were popular because of the image he projected. The men that went to see his movies may not have been as big or strong as he was but would have liked to have been. The John Wayne image was classic Hollywood wish fulfillment. Just as the Joan Crawford or Bette Davis image was for a lot of women. In those days, you picked your hero or heroine and stuck by them so regardless of what anybody else said or did, you went to see their movies. These people who delight in revealing what they have heard about your favorite star are doing it out of a sense of meaness. Movies originally were meant to entertain. That's why they ran them in theaters. Those films meant to educate were usually shown in classrooms. How many kids would have shown up at a theater if there was going to be a film about the pioneers crossing the desert and their hardships, but no Indian attacks. No drama, just historical fact. Aside from its topical subject matter, Big Jim McClain still would have drawn a crowd because John Wayne was in it. Like him or not, the guy had to have some sort of charisma to have lasted as long as he did.


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