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The Big Country (1958)

Unrated  |   |  Western  |  1 October 1958 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,897 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

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Gregory Peck (James McKay) and Charlton Heston (Steve Leech) both played the infamous Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele: Peck in The Boys from Brazil (1978) and Heston in Rua Alguem 5555: My Father (2003). See more »


When McKay is pulled off the carriage by the Hannassey's, the rifle appears in McKay's hands. See more »


Steve Leech: I don't know that I would wear that hat too long around here, Mr. McKay.
James McKay: Oh, why not?
Steve Leech: Oh, one of these wild cowboys might take it into their head to shoot it off ya.
See more »


Referenced in Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

Perfect movie, Perfect music.
24 December 2000 | by (Georgia) – See all my reviews

There's just not one thing wrong with this movie. The casting is perfect, as is the direction, cinematography, script, and music. The score by Jerome Moross is perfection, and my personal favorite of all the great western movie scores. All the actors/actresses are a perfect fit for their roles, and the male cast of Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Charles Bickford, Burl Ives, and Chuck Connors (who shines as the thoroughly bad Buck Hannassey) is ensemble acting at it's best. Carol Baker and Jean Simmons are luminous, compelling, and strangely powerful.

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Who could play Clem Maragon? mike-osullivan3
Use of compass when out riding, Best_ID_I_can_think_of
Awesome Theme Music rikitiki
the turning head alecwest
Rufus holds Buck after he kills him sul-4
What was the future for McKay and Leech? gancommercial
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