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The Big Sky (1952)

Passed  -  Drama | Western  -  19 August 1952 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,518 users  
Reviews: 45 user | 17 critic

The success of the journey focuses on keeping the Indian girl alive as well as themselves to complete trade with the Blackfeet.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Big Sky (1952)

The Big Sky (1952) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jim Deakins
...
Boone Caudill
Elizabeth Threatt ...
Teal Eye
Arthur Hunnicutt ...
Zeb Calloway
Buddy Baer ...
Romaine
Steven Geray ...
'Frenchy' Jourdonnais (Riverboat Captain)
Henri Letondal ...
La Badie
...
Poordevil
...
Streak
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Storyline

Jim Deakins is a frontiersman and Indian trader who is making a perilous journey with a group of other men up the Missouri River to get a large haul of furs from friendly Blackfoot Indians. The problem is that they have to get through hostile Indian territory first and they find that they have seriously underestimated the difficulties they will undergo. The large body of men who started the journey are gradually whittled down until only a hardy few, like Deakins, are left. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Theirs the great adventure... (original one-sheet poster) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 August 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' The Big Sky  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While shooting Red River (1948), there was a scene that director Howard Hawks unsuccessfully urged John Wayne to do. It involved his getting a finger mangled between a saddle horn and a rope, resulting in Walter Brennan's amputating it. Hawks reportedly told Wayne, "If you're not good enough, we won't do it", but Wayne wouldn't do it. According to Hawks biographer Todd McCarthy, Hawks did get Kirk Douglas to do that scene in this film, and it came off so funny that Wayne later declared to Hawks, "If you tell me a funeral is funny, I'll do a funeral." See more »

Goofs

Deakins' amputated finger is whole again when he hides out in the cave with Teal Eye and the others, and in every scene after that. See more »

Quotes

Jim Deakins: [Watching Boone play with the Indian scalp and annoyed with him for leaving Teal-Eye] Playing with that scalp again. Whatd'ya give him that fer? That were a fool thing to do.
Zeb Calloway: Worse than that, whole story were a lie.
Jim Deakins: What!
Zeb Calloway: His brother weren't killed by no injun atall, fell in the river and drowned.
Jim Deakins: Huh... He wouldn't believe that!
Zeb Calloway: Nobody would. I just talk too much.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:

The early history of America is a tale of great first times. There were men who were the first to cross new prairies and new mountains, the first to find gold, silver and copper; to plow new wheat fields and build new settlements.

This is the story of another of the great American firsts--the tale of the first men who took a keelboat up the wild and unexplored Missouri River--who poled, pulled and rowed their way from St. Louis through 2000 miles of hostile Indian country to the hills of Montana and opened a new land for the future - - The Great Northwest. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ghosts of Mars (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Brandy Leave Me Alone
(uncredited)
Written by Josef Marais
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
`The land sure is big here, only the sky is bigger.'
19 May 2003 | by See all my reviews

The Big Sky is generally considered inferior and less important compared to Red River, the Western Howard Hawks directed in 1948 or four years before this one and which already has a status of a classic and Hawk's masterpiece. Howard Hawks himself wasn't pleased very much with the final result because he wanted John Wayne to play Kirk Douglas's role and mainly because the studio insisted on cutting out 20 minutes of the film to facilitate its distribution. In a conversation with Peter Bogdanovich Hawks later recalled that he had a difficulty recognizing his own film after seeing it in that `butchered' version.

But in my opinion The Big Sky stands on the level of Howard Hawk's best work remarkable for its visual beauty (though filming it in colour would definitely improve it), fine performances (Kirk Douglas is magnificent here and it's hard to imagine other actor playing this role), wonderful music from Dimitri Tiomkin and interesting story of, basically, friendship, that even might be called love, between the two main characters of Jim Deakins (Kirk Douglas) and Dewey Martin (Boone Caudill) but friendship on a background of a perilous and adventurous journey up the Missouri river to the Indian territory where no white man ever set his foot before, with a group of peculiar French adventurers and an Indian princess Teal Eye (Elizabeth Threatt) who steals their hearts and threatens their friendship.

A must see classic. 9/10


22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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