IMDb > The Big Country (1958)
The Big Country
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Big Country (1958) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 28 | slideshow) Videos
The Big Country -- Dazzling photography, an intelligent script, remarkable performances, superb direction and compelling music animate this large-scale Western.  An ex-sea captain (Gregory Peck) comes West to marry Carroll Baker and settle down on the ranch of her father (Charles Bickford).  A mutual dislike develops between Peck and the ranch foreman (Charlton Heston).  Baker shares many of the "macho" sensibilities represented by Heston, which drives Peck away from her and into the arms of a schoolteacher (Jean Simmons) - who happens to own the only water for miles around.  Bickford and Burl Ives have been competing for rights to Simmons' water and are willing to use any means to get it.  The intertwining tensions between Peck & Heston and Bickford & Ives inevitably will lead to a climactic and violent confrontation.

Overview

User Rating:
7.9/10   11,326 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Up 23% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
James R. Webb (screenplay) &
Sy Bartlett (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Big Country on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 October 1958 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Big they fought! Big they loved! Big their story!
Plot:
A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won Oscar. Another 3 wins & 4 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(41 articles)
Bones Round Table: Do You Like Booth in Glasses?
 (From TVfanatic. 18 July 2016, 1:00 PM, PDT)

Drive-In Dust Offs: The Vampire (1957)
 (From DailyDead. 25 June 2016, 10:38 AM, PDT)

Station West
 (From Trailers from Hell. 5 February 2016, 9:15 PM, PST)

User Reviews:
Big entertainment, bigger music. See more (147 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gregory Peck ... James McKay

Jean Simmons ... Julie Maragon

Carroll Baker ... Patricia Terrill

Charlton Heston ... Steve Leech

Burl Ives ... Rufus Hannassey

Charles Bickford ... Maj. Henry Terrill

Alfonso Bedoya ... Ramón Gutierrez

Chuck Connors ... Buck Hannassey
Chuck Hayward ... Rafe Hannassey
Buff Brady ... Dude Hannassey
Jim Burk ... Blackie / Cracker Hannassey

Dorothy Adams ... Hannassey Woman
Chuck Roberson ... Terrill Cowboy
Bob Morgan ... Terrill Cowboy
John McKee ... Terrill Cowboy
Slim Talbot ... Terrill Cowboy (as Jay Slim Talbot)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Richard Alexander ... Party Guest - Oceans (uncredited)
Harry Cheshire ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Jay W. Jensen ... Cowboy (uncredited)
Donald Kerr ... Liveryman (uncredited)

Roddy McDowall ... Hannassey Watchman (uncredited)
Carey Paul Peck ... Boy (uncredited)
Jonathan Peck ... Boy (uncredited)
Stephen Peck ... Boy (uncredited)
Ralph Sanford ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Directed by
William Wyler 
 
Writing credits
James R. Webb (screenplay) &
Sy Bartlett (screenplay) &
Robert Wilder (screenplay)

Jessamyn West (adaptation) &
Robert Wyler (adaptation)

Donald Hamilton (novel)

Produced by
Gregory Peck .... producer
Robert Wyler .... associate producer
William Wyler .... producer
 
Original Music by
Jerome Moross 
 
Cinematography by
Franz Planer (director of photography) (as Franz F. Planer)
 
Film Editing by
Robert Belcher 
John Faure 
 
Casting by
Dorothy Whitney 
 
Art Direction by
Frank Hotaling 
 
Set Decoration by
Edward G. Boyle 
 
Costume Design by
Emile Santiago 
Yvonne Wood 
 
Makeup Department
Dan Greenway .... makeup artist
Harry Maret .... makeup artist (as Harry Maret Jr.)
Joan St. Oegger .... hair stylist
Gale McGarry .... hairdresser (uncredited)
Nick Volpe .... makeup sketches (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Tom Andre .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ray Gosnell Jr. .... second assistant director (as Ray Gosnell)
Henry Hartman .... assistant director: second unit
Robert Swink .... director: second unit
Ivan Volkman .... assistant director
John Waters .... director: second unit
Robert Templeton .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Saul Bass .... poster designer (uncredited)
C. Randall Berkeley .... greensman (uncredited)
Patrick Delany .... second prop man (uncredited)
Charles Gay .... leadman (uncredited)
Arnold Pine .... construction foreman (uncredited)
Tom Plews .... prop master (uncredited)
Steven Pridgeon .... draughtsman (uncredited)
Harry Spurgan .... art checker (uncredited)
Hal Waller .... draughtsman (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Del Harris .... sound effects editor
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound recordist (as Roger Heman)
John K. Kean .... sound recordist (as John Kean)
Harry Alphin .... sound effects editor (uncredited)
Harry Alphin .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Al Gonzales .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Bill Babcock .... stunts (uncredited)
Buff Brady .... stunts (uncredited)
Jim Burk .... stunts (uncredited)
Martha Crawford .... stunt double: Carroll Baker (uncredited)
Martha Crawford .... stunt double: Jean Simmons (uncredited)
Donna Hall .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
John McKee .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Morgan .... stunts (uncredited)
Hal Needham .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
Slim Talbot .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Wallace Chewning .... director of photography: second unit
Don Christie .... still photographer (uncredited)
Eddie Garvin .... camera operator (uncredited)
Dick Johnson .... assistant camera (uncredited)
John Livesley .... key grip (uncredited)
Fred Mandl .... camera operator (uncredited)
Harry Sundby .... gaffer (uncredited)
Sidney Zipser .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eddie Armand .... costumer
Neva Rames .... costumer
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Agnes Koschin .... fitter (uncredited)
Agnes Koschin .... wardrobe cutter (uncredited)
John Lucas .... second wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Robert Swink .... supervising editor
Hal Ashby .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Tony Friedman .... assistant editor (uncredited)
William Sands .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Location Management
Carl P. Benoit .... location manager
 
Music Department
Lloyd Young .... music editor
Alexander Courage .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Gil Grau .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Bernard Mayers .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Conrad Salinger .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Chuck Hammond .... transportation gaffer (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Saul Bass .... titles designed by
Sam Freedle .... script supervisor
Clarence Marks .... assistant: William Wyler
Robert Gary .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Kenneth Gilmore .... first aid (uncredited)
Harold Hourihan .... office accountant (uncredited)
Al Jank .... ramrod (uncredited)
Monty W. 'Red' Kennedy .... location auditor (uncredited)
Carey Leverette .... choreographer (uncredited)
Harry Mines .... unit publicist (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
165 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Netherlands:14 (original rating) (1959) (one cut) | Norway:16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video rating) (1988) (1993) (2001) (2013) | USA:Unrated | USA:Not Rated (DVD) | USA:Approved (MPAA rating: certificate #18972) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Charlton Heston initially turned down the role of ranch foreman Steve Leech because he didn't think the part was big enough. His agent convinced him that it would be worth it just for the opportunity to work with Gregory Peck and William Wyler.See more »
Goofs:
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Just before the duel between McKay and Buck Hannassy, Leech says to the Major that they haven't heard a single shot. Yet Rufus Hannassy shot at Buck to prevent him shooting an unarmed man not five minutes earlier.See more »
Quotes:
Julie Maragon:Any ranch that you can see on foot just isn't worth looking at.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hollywood et les hommes (2013)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
68 out of 76 people found the following review useful.
Big entertainment, bigger music., 4 February 2002
Author: Poseidon-3 from Cincinnati, OH

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.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (147 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Big Country (1958)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
who was Buck going to shoot? wwcat
Awesome Theme Music rikitiki
Major Terrill and his daughter threeoranges
What was the future for McKay and Leech? gancommercial
the turning head alecwest
Use of compass when out riding, Best_ID_I_can_think_of
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
The Westerner Draw! Hondo Backlash Jesse James
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Romance section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.