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 land 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film featured one of the largest sets ever built on the Samuel Goldwyn Studios lot, a reproduction of the enormous "Terrill" mansion which covered two continuous stages. See more »
In the scene where Gregory Peck first visits Jean Simmons on the "Big Muddy" property and they gaze across the river, a long string of tall high voltage electrical towers can be seen arrayed against the most distant (California) hilltops. They are seen again in a later scene shot from a similar angle. The plot of "The Big Country" takes place in the 1800's. See more »
[discussing McKay's "cowardice"]
Don't you care what people think of you?
I'm not responsible for what people think, Pat, only for what I am.
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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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