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The Big Country (1958)

Unrated  |   |  Western  |  1 October 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,900 users  
Reviews: 147 user | 46 critic

A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ramón Guiteras
Buck Hannassey
Chuck Hayward ...
Rafe Hannassey
Buff Brady ...
Dude Hannassey
Jim Burk ...
Blackie / Cracker Hannassey
Hannassey Woman
Chuck Roberson ...
Terrill Cowboy
Bob Morgan ...
Terrill Cowboy
John McKee ...
Terrill Cowboy


Retired, wealthy sea Captain Jame McKay arrives in the vast expanse of the West to marry fiancée Pat Terrill. McKay is a man whose values and approach to life are a mystery to the ranchers and ranch foreman Steve Leech takes an immediate dislike to him. Pat is spoiled, selfish and controlled by her wealthy father, Major Henry Terrill. The Major is involved in a ruthless civil war, over watering rights for cattle, with a rough hewn clan led by Rufus Hannassey. The land in question is owned by Julie Maragon and both Terrill and Hannassey want it. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Big they fought! Big they loved! Big their story!




Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

1 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horizontes de grandeza  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Alfonso Bedoya's last film. A longtime alcoholic, he died before it was released. See more »


Towards the end of the scene where McKay is learning to ride the bucking horse he is thrown from the horse, lands, removes the straw from his hair and then removes the straw from his hair again when he is helped up. See more »


Steve Leech: You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.
See more »


Featured in Mel Gibson's 'Braveheart': A Filmmaker's Passion (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

Big Fued, Big Romance, Big musical Score
14 January 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nv, USA) – See all my reviews

The Big Country was passed over by the professional critics as being empty, ernest, and not enough sweep to be called a true epic. Well, I remember seeing The Big Country and was properly swept off my feet by the grand scale of the Big Country, the death feud between Burl Ives and Charles Bickford, the shaky and doomed romance between Gregory Peck and the spoiled Carroll Baker and the quiet understanding between Peck and the lovely Jean Simmons, but most of all, the thing that propelled me to see The Big Country over and over was the magnificant score by Jerome Moross. Sure, I could site many scores that have aided films to glory, Max Steiner for The Letter, Maurice Jarre for Lawrence of Arabia, Miklos Roza for an excellent score for a weak epic Land of the Pharaohs, and Hans Zimmer for an excellent score for a great epic Gladiator but I still say that for a western you can't get any better than the magnificant score for The Big Country. The sweep and majesty and the quiet moments of Jerome Moross's music sets the tone for this truly underated movie. United Artist released the music on LP and I wore mine out along with my neighbors complaints, I now own an excellent CD produced by SILVA SCREEN which I can't wear out. All in all see The Big Country on your big screen in Widescreen and give yourself a real treat. Who needs Giant?

49 of 58 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Who could play Clem Maragon? mike-osullivan3
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