IMDb > The Big Sky (1952)
The Big Sky
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The Big Sky (1952) More at IMDbPro »

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User Rating:
7.2/10   2,409 votes »
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Down 19% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Dudley Nichols (screenplay)
A.B. Guthrie Jr. (novel)
View company contact information for The Big Sky on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 August 1952 (USA) See more »
Mighty drama of the adventure that battered down the barriers to the great Northwest! (original poster) See more »
Jim Deakins is a frontiersman and Indian trader who is making a perilous journey with a group of other... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
`The land sure is big here, only the sky is bigger.' See more (42 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Kirk Douglas ... Jim Deakins

Dewey Martin ... Boone Caudill
Elizabeth Threatt ... Teal Eye
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Zeb Calloway
Buddy Baer ... Romaine
Steven Geray ... 'Frenchy' Jourdonnais (Riverboat Captain)
Henri Letondal ... La Badie

Hank Worden ... Poordevil

Jim Davis ... Streak
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Beulah Archuletta ... Blackfoot Dancer (uncredited)
Sam Ash ... Singer (uncredited)

Don Beddoe ... Horse Trader (uncredited)
Eugene Borden ... Tavern Proprietor (uncredited)
Cliff Clark ... Jailer (uncredited)

Iron Eyes Cody ... Blackfoot Subchief (uncredited)
Booth Colman ... Pascal (uncredited)
Victor Cox ... Fort Henchman Grabbing Poordevil (uncredited)
Mae Old Coyote ... Indian Woman (uncredited)

Frank DeKova ... Moleface (uncredited)
Abe Dinovitch ... Singer (uncredited)
Paul Frees ... Louis MacMasters (uncredited)
John George ... Passerby (uncredited)
Fred Graham ... Sam Eggelston (uncredited)
Barbara Hawks ... Indian Woman (uncredited)
Jim Hayward ... Trapper (uncredited)
Robert Hunter ... Chouquette (uncredited)
Ray Hyke ... Bartender (uncredited)
Michael Jeffers ... Bartender (uncredited)
Anthony Joaquin ... Trapper (uncredited)
Frank Lackteen ... Indian (uncredited)
Nolan Leary ... Storekeeper (uncredited)
Cactus Mack ... Streak Henchman (uncredited)
Jay Novello ... Trapper (uncredited)
Larry Randall ... Boatman (uncredited)
Charles Regan ... Friend (uncredited)
Sherman Sanders ... Dance Caller (uncredited)
William Self ... Boatman (uncredited)
Theodore Last Star ... Chief Red Horse (uncredited)
Veola Vonn ... Barmaid (uncredited)
Max Wagner ... Eggelston Henchmen (uncredited)
George Wallace ... Thug in General Store (uncredited)
Crane Whitley ... Henchman (uncredited)
Guy Wilkerson ... Henchman Longface (uncredited)
Louise Worden ... Indian Villager (uncredited)
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Directed by
Howard Hawks 
Writing credits
Dudley Nichols (screenplay)

A.B. Guthrie Jr. (novel "The Big Sky")

Ray Buffum  adaptation (uncredited)
DeVallon Scott  adaptation (uncredited)

Produced by
Howard Hawks .... producer
Edward Lasker .... associate producer
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin 
Cinematography by
Russell Harlan (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Christian Nyby 
Art Direction by
Albert S. D'Agostino 
Perry Ferguson 
Set Decoration by
Darrell Silvera 
William Stevens 
Costume Design by
Dorothy Jeakins 
Makeup Department
Mel Berns .... makeup artist
Don L. Cash .... makeup artist (as Don Cash)
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Production Management
Arthur Siteman .... unit manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William McGarry .... assistant director
Arthur Rosson .... unit director
Sound Department
Phil Brigandi .... sound
Walter Elliott .... sound effects (as Walter G. Elliott)
Clem Portman .... sound
John Speak .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Donald Steward .... special effects
Fred Graham .... stunt double (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunt double (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Pittack .... director of photography: second unit (uncredited)
Casting Department
Harvey Clermont .... casting assistant
Music Department
C. Bakaleinikoff .... music coordinator
Gordon Clark .... French lyrics by
Richard C. Harris .... music editor (as Richard Harris)
Dimitri Tiomkin .... music director
Lucien Cailliet .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Paul Marquardt .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Charles Maxwell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Parrish .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Leonid Raab .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert Taylor .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Howard Hawks' The Big Sky" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
140 min | 122 min (edited version) | West Germany:95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Argentina:Atp | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Norway:A (1953) | Sweden:15 | UK:U | USA:Passed (National Board of Review) | USA:Approved (certificate #15447) | West Germany:6 (cinema rating: cut version)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
Anachronisms: Story takes place in 1832. Automobiles are visible during prologue.See more »
Jim Deakins:Sure is big country. The only thing bigger is the sky.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Pour la peau d'un flic (1981)See more »
Brandy Leave Me AloneSee more »


Where does the Missouri River run?
Is 'The Big Sky' based on a book?
How does the movie end?
See more »
22 out of 24 people found the following review useful.
`The land sure is big here, only the sky is bigger.', 19 May 2003
Author: Ilya Mauter

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

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Big Sky (1952)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Kirk flogged Elizabeth? angus052394
Turner Classic Movies and 'The Big Sky' Django6924
Restored full length version JCF1129
DVD of The Big Sky out now in UK! mr-dan-hunter
READ the BOOK slantt-1
dewey martin erik_le67
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