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The Big Country (1958)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Romance, Western  |  1 October 1958 (USA)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 10,498 users  
Reviews: 142 user | 44 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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Title: The Big Country (1958)

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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

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:

Horizontes de grandeza  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Peck and director William Wyler clashed repeatedly during filming. After Peck stormed off the set one day following a blazing row Wyler told the press, "I wouldn't direct Peck again for a million dollars and you can quote me on that.". See more »

Goofs

When Steve Leech first picks up Jim McKay in the buckboard he drives past Buck Hannassey and gang standing outside the saloon mocking Steve. The sun is nearly down as the shadows are very long. Steve then drives around the corner to Julie's house and now the sun is directly overhead. See more »

Quotes

Rufus Hannassey: [examining McKay's dueling pistols] These guns loaded?
James McKay: All but the caps. They haven't been fired for a long time - the vents will have to be cleared out. I'll do it for you, if you like.
Rufus Hannassey: Teach your grandmother to suck eggs! I've been handling guns like this, flintlock and caplock, since before you were born.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of the Hollywood Western (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable ranch-war Western with an outstanding Oscar-Nominated Musical Score...
26 September 1999 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

When Jim McKay (Gregory Peck) stepped off the stagecoach in the open range of the West, Steve Leech (Charlton Heston) was already his excellent rival and adversary...

Steve - Major Terrill's strong right arm - was in love with the beautiful Pat (Carroll Baker) daughter of his boss, who intends to marry the innocent handsome Captain...

Soon than expected, McKay discovered a bitter blood feud between the Terrills, owner of a huge ranch, and the Hannasseys, simple mountain men..

Extreme hatred united the two families, the two cattlemen Major Terrill (Charles Bickford) and Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives).

Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons) was a strategic factor in the conflict... She was the key to supply water... Both, Terrill and Hannassey wanted her part of land to have their cattle watered, but she always said 'no' to either... Why not to say 'yes' now to Jim McKay! Julie was touched by his honesty, a quality she admired in a man...

Jim, a perfect gentleman - suffering humiliation since his arrival to the big country - grew to unlike Pat's ideas and manners which were in a primitive set of values... He became aware of Julie as a sensitive woman, an understanding human being with great heart...

When Julie is kidnapped by the Hannassey, McKay goes to meet Rifus... He wins esteem and consideration from the old man but fails to refrain a hostile confrontation between the two selfish, inflexible old barons...

"The Big Country" is distinguished by its magnificent landscapes... The high, wide and impressive buggy ride spread out a lavish, sumptuous scale of the State of Texas as never has been carried to the silver screen..

The film is about land and its influence and power over people... A story that can occur everyday in every country, zone and family... The love, the hatred, the war for land, for power, for water rights... always for an asset!

Gregory Peck is outstanding as the calm anti-traditional hero, balancing a deed of bravery, strength and endurance...

Jean Simmons is a big leading lady at that time, big enough to the 'Big Country.'

Carroll Baker, famous as the thumb-sucking child-wife in "Baby Doll," is Charles Bickford's willful daughter, acting according to his law and dictate...

Charlton Heston confirms a favorable impression by giving an excellent account as the grinning, menacing rival in love with the land and with McKay's attractive fiancée...

Burl Ives - Winner of the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor in the film - is impeccably cast as the gray-haired patriarch of a shameful, indecent, discourteous clan...

Charles Bickford (1891-1967) could play as easily the sincere man of virtue ("Duel in the Sun") as the dishonest villain... His generous character and his stubborn face fitted him perfectly to such roles as the proud misguided patriarch led by false and mistaken ideas in the range against Burl Ives...

Chuck Connors (1921-92) is always remembered for his success on T.V. notably in "The Rifleman" series (58-63). Here he plays the heavy coward, the rude and vulgar, the hypocrite impolite noisy disorderly son...

Directed by William Wyler, "The Big Country" is a spectacular Western featuring a brilliant cast at top shape...

If you like big action, big fights, big love, don't miss it!


59 of 69 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How miscasting could have made THE BIG COUNTRY unviewable! ScopeWatcher
Who could play Clem Maragon? mike-osullivan3
Use of compass when out riding, Best_ID_I_can_think_of
Rufus holds Buck after he kills him sul-4
Awesome Theme Music rikitiki
What happens before the very end? jgepperson
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