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The Big Country (1958)

7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 9,580 users  
Reviews: 138 user | 41 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.

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(novel), (adaptation), 4 more credits »
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Title: The Big Country (1958)

The Big Country (1958) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Alfonso Bedoya ...
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
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Storyline

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

Plot Keywords:

rancher | sea captain | cattle | ranch | epic | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance | Western

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Da Terra Nascem os Homens  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

(at about 15 minutes) When McKay is being turned loose from the Hannassey boys' lariats, one of the "boys" throws McKay's hat on the ground in front of him. The crown of the hat is clearly crushed, as one would expect - considering the abuse it's received at the hands of the Hannasseys. But when McKay picks up his hat at 16:27, it's miraculously in perfect condition - certainly "a better hat than I thought!" See more »

Quotes

[Buck Hannassey is about to shoot the weaponless James McKay until Buck's father intercedes]
Rufus Hannassey: You don't shoot an unarmed man... not while I'm around.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 78th Annual Academy Awards (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Big entertainment, bigger music.
4 February 2002 | by (Cincinnati, OH) – See all my reviews

As several characters state in the film, "This is a big country" and THIS is a BIG MOVIE. It screams out for widescreen viewing. Many of the characters are largely and broadly drawn with big strokes (stubborn Peck, fiery Baker, resentful Heston, righteous Simmons, imperious Bickford, cantankerous Ives and slithering Connors) yet they all are dwarfed by the huge landscape. Tall men, horses, trees and houses are all presented as so many ants on an ant hill in many of the images. The film has a compelling story and intriguing interpersonal relationships and rivalries which are all enhanced by this larger than life approach. The landscape is sometimes awe-inspiring, notably in the Blanco Canyon scenes near the end of the film. Peck is appropriately straight-laced and uncomfortable in this rough & tumble setting, lovely Simmons is a likable heroine and Baker is an effective daddy's girl with misplaced affections. Connors acquits himself very nicely as a thoroughly detestable punk. Heston comes off extremely strong in this film. He's completely at home and was probably never more handsome (check out the scene in which he's roused from his bed by Peck!) He makes the most out of this secondary role. Bickford and Oscar-winning Ives make a great pair of adversaries...almost makes one wish for a prequel to see what got these two so riled up (but today's filmmakers couldn't be counted upon to do it in a tasteful, classy way.) Memorable scenes include the taunting of Peck by Connors and his brothers, Ives grand entrance into Bickford's house and an almost legendary fight scene between Heston and Peck. All of the above are raised to an even higher plane of excellence by what must be one of the greatest musical scores in film history (western or otherwise.) Jerome Moross composed several themes (the opening title is the best known) which put this film into a whole new category of enjoyment. The score stands alone as a beautiful listening experience and paired with the images in this film, it is amazing. It occasionally seems intrusive, yet knows when to keep quiet as well. The Oscar that year went to Tiompkin's "Old Man and the Sea", but it seems astonishing that anything could have bested this score. The film's only real flaw is slight overlength, but nothing really stands out as aching to be cut! Maybe just bits and pieces....but, really, the story just takes it's time and builds to some stirring moments.


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Use of compass when out riding, Best_ID_I_can_think_of
Who could play Clem Maragon? mike-osullivan3
Awesome Theme Music rikitiki
What happens before the very end? jgepperson
Charlton vs. Gregory happygoluckyduck
Major Terrill and his daughter threeoranges
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