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The Big Country (1958)

Not Rated | | Romance, Western | October 1958 (USA)
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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(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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Chuck Hayward ...
Rafe Hannassey
Buff Brady ...
Dude Hannassey
Jim Burk ...
Blackie / Cracker Hannassey
...
Hannassey Woman
...
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 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 <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horizontes de grandeza  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to actor Slim Pickens' daughter, her father doubled Gregory Peck in the scene where Peck's character was bucked off the horse. Pickens owned the horse and didn't want anyone else riding it. See more »

Goofs

The S-shaped portion of the canyon where Hannassey's men trap Terrill and his ranch hands between barriers is the same location (supposedly further down the canyon) where Terrill later walks to confront Hannassey. A large round, white boulder can be seen half-way up the middle of the far canyon wall in all of the aerial shots and over Gregory Peck's head in the final ground-level shot when the shoot-out concludes. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in Five Came Back: The Price of Victory (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Easily one of the most underrated movies of all-time.
28 January 2001 | by See all my reviews

I've read all of the comments about Wyler's "The Big Country". I don't even remember the first time I saw this movie but I have never tired of watching it. William Wyler went to the vault and pulled out the often used theme, "the showdown on main street at high noon" genre that many directors had tired of and felt was the kiss of death to western movies of the day and he pulled it off in grand fashion. Why this movie has never received it's just due has mystified me for years. Maybe the late '50's became the time of the "brat pak" movie genre, ("Rebel Without A Cause"), but the performances in this movie are classic. Jean Simmons was absolutely intriguing. As a man watching this movie, I soon realized what Mr. Peck would begin to see in this woman as the movie progressed. Just that little glimpse from Ms. Simmons as she measured up the man she would soon fall in love with had more sexual power than most flicks today that try to thrive on the sexual theme to sell theatre tickets.

This is not just a western. It is pure greatness from William Wyler and a cast that added strength to the film. Burl Ives and Charles Bickford played their respective roles with the intenseness and professionalism of a classic Shakespearean play and Charlton Heston was perfect as the antagonist to Gregory Peck. This film has no weakness and has gotten better with time.


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