6.1/10
525
22 user 3 critic

It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 20 November 1951 (USA)
The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables... See full summary »

Writers:

Dore Schary (story for picture), William Ludwig (screenplay: episode one) | 11 more credits »
Reviews

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ethel Barrymore ... Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan
Keefe Brasselle ... Sgt. Maxie Klein
Gary Cooper ... Texas
Nancy Reagan ... Miss Coleman (as Nancy Davis)
Van Johnson ... Rev. Adam Burch
Gene Kelly ... Icarus Xenophon
Janet Leigh ... Rosa Szabo
Marjorie Main ... Mrs. Wrenley
Fredric March ... Joe Esposito
George Murphy ... Mr. Callaghan
William Powell ... Professor
S.Z. Sakall ... Stefan Szabo
Lewis Stone ... Church Sexton
James Whitmore ... Mr. Stacey
Keenan Wynn ... Michael Fisher
Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

During a conference-trip to L.A., an academic runs into an old-flame and into trouble with the police when she disappears, presumed murdered.

Director: Chester Erskine
Stars: William Powell, Shelley Winters, Marsha Hunt
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Jim Curtayne, formerly a successful defense attorney who is now a recovering alcoholic, attempts a comeback when he defends a neighbor's son facing a homicide charge.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, Diana Lynn
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An eccentric woman learns she is not dying of radium poisoning as earlier assumed, but when she meets a reporter looking for a story, she feigns sickness again for her own profit.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Carole Lombard, Fredric March, Charles Winninger
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Journalist Steve O'Malley wants to write a biography of a national hero who died when his car ran off a bridge. Steve receives conflicting reports and tales that make him question what the truth about the hero is.

Director: George Cukor
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Richard Whorf
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In early 19th Century France an ex-convict who failed to report to parole is relentlessly pursued over a 20 year period by an obsessive policeman.

Director: Richard Boleslawski
Stars: Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Cedric Hardwicke
Certificate: Passed Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin
Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An uncompromising, visionary architect struggles to maintain his integrity and individualism despite personal, professional and economic pressures to conform to popular standards.

Director: King Vidor
Stars: Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, Raymond Massey
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In California, a boy and his adoptive father find an outlaw's hidden treasure but the news leaks out, sending unscrupulous characters after the gold.

Director: Ted Tetzlaff
Stars: William Powell, Julie Adams, Charles Drake
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty.

Directors: John Ford, Mervyn LeRoy, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell
Johnny Eager (1941)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The step-daughter of a district attorney falls in love with a gangster on parole who her father originally imprisoned.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Stars: Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Edward Arnold
Cry 'Havoc' (1943)
Certificate: Passed Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A chronicle of the experiences of a mixed group of Army hospital volunteers stationed in Bataan during World War II.

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, Ann Sothern, Joan Blondell
Black Hand (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Now grown-up, Johnny Columbo returns to New York from Italy having sworn a vendetta against the Black Hand who killed his father years earlier. Becoming romantically involved with a girl ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Thorpe
Stars: Gene Kelly, J. Carrol Naish, Teresa Celli
Edit

Storyline

The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables represent a broad cross-section of the American experience: the elderly woman whose pride is injured when she's forgotten in the latest census; the novice minister more pleased with the sound of his own voice than with the needs of his congregation; the mother who confronts the illogic of racial intolerance when she meets the best friend of the son she lost to war; and the enigma that is Texas. Episode titles are: 1) Interruptions, Interruptions; 2) Census Taker; 3) Negro Story; 4) Rosika, the Rose; 5) Letter from Korea; 6) Lone Star; (7) Minister in Washington; 8) Four Eyes; a further episode, titled Load, directed by Anthony Mann, with 'Jean Hersholt' (q.v.) and 'Ann Harding' (q.v.), was filmed but deleted. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOU'RE in this picture with the girl you love - and the kids on the street corner - and the guy next door! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Along with Friendly Persuasion (1956), this is one of precious few films that allowed character actress Marjorie Main to stretch beyond her cantankerous, salt-of-the-earth screen persona to enact a subtle, heartfelt characterization, which she does here to dazzling effect. See more »

Goofs

When the census taker asks Ethel Barrymore her name, she replies "Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan" and he writes it down. Always with censuses, a woman's given name is entered. See more »

Quotes

Rosa Szabo Xenophon: Marry me? You don't know anything about me.
Icarus Xenophon: You're a girl. You're pretty and you're modest. What else is there to know?
See more »

Connections

Edited into A Letter from a Soldier (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

God Bless America
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
See more »

User Reviews

 
Pleasant enough but could've been better
15 October 2016 | by utgard14See all my reviews

Well-intentioned anthology film from MGM that lacks a clear focus. It's a collection of short stories that don't seem to have any other point except, I suppose, that the United States is a melting pot and how swell that is. Absolutely nothing wrong with that idea but I feel like more effort could have been put into (a) writing better stories and (b) having the stories connect better to drive home the "we're all different but we're all together" theme. The best anthology films tend to connect their stories and this just doesn't do that well. Still, it's full of old stars and the stories themselves, while not the strongest, are enjoyable enough. Worth a look for classic film fans. Probably kryptonite to cynics.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Hungarian | Italian

Release Date:

20 November 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

It's a Big Country See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,013,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed