7.1/10
3,375
49 user 23 critic

The Big Sky (1952)

The success of the journey focuses on keeping the Indian girl alive as well as themselves to complete trade with the Blackfeet.

Director:

Howard Hawks

Writers:

Dudley Nichols (screenplay), A.B. Guthrie Jr. (novel)
Reviews
Popularity
2,365 ( 17,214)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Kirk Douglas ... Jim Deakins
Dewey Martin ... Boone Caudill
Elizabeth Threatt ... Teal Eye
Arthur Hunnicutt ... Zeb Calloway
Buddy Baer ... Romaine
Steven Geray ... 'Frenchy' Jourdonnais
Henri Letondal Henri Letondal ... La Badie
Hank Worden ... Poordevil
Jim Davis ... Streak
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Storyline

Jim Deakins is a frontiersman and Indian trader who is making a perilous journey with a group of other men up the Missouri River to get a large haul of furs from friendly Blackfoot Indians. The problem is that they have to get through hostile Indian territory first and they find that they have seriously underestimated the difficulties they will undergo. The large body of men who started the journey are gradually whittled down until only a hardy few, like Deakins, are left. Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Giant Adventure of All Time! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

27 November 1952 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Howard Hawks' The Big Sky See more »

Filming Locations:

Snake River, Wyoming, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (edited)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While shooting Red River (1948), there was a scene that director Howard Hawks unsuccessfully urged John Wayne to do. It involved his getting a finger mangled between a saddle horn and a rope, resulting in Walter Brennan's amputating it. Hawks reportedly told Wayne, "If you're not good enough, we won't do it", but Wayne wouldn't do it. According to Hawks biographer Todd McCarthy, Hawks did get Kirk Douglas to do that scene in this film, and it came off so funny that Wayne later declared to Hawks, "If you tell me a funeral is funny, I'll do a funeral." See more »

Goofs

Jim expresses amazement at the size of St. Louis. However, he had just come from Louisville, which in 1832 was about twice the size of St. Louis, so it should not have been a source of such astonishment. See more »

Quotes

Jim Deakins: Sure is big country. The only thing bigger is the sky.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue:

The early history of America is a tale of great first times. There were men who were the first to cross new prairies and new mountains, the first to find gold, silver and copper; to plow new wheat fields and build new settlements.

This is the story of another of the great American firsts-- the tale of the first men who took a keelboat up the wild and unexplored Missouri River--who poled, pulled and rowed their way from St. Louis through 2000 miles of hostile Indian country to the hills of Montana and opened a new land for the future - - The Great Northwest. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pour la peau d'un flic (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Brandy Leave Me Alone
(uncredited)
Written by Josef Marais
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A young Kirk Douglas stands out in this historic recreation of early western river travel
2 July 2000 | by ronvvtSee all my reviews

This film is EXCELLENT and is filled with many vivid scenes of the Jackson Hole Valley country. Being shot along the Snake River and within easy sight of the Teton Mountain range it gives an amazingly accurate account of what early Keel Boat travel might have been like along the Missouri River and other Western tributaries. Kirk Douglas (Jim Deakins) is superb as he portrays one of three game hunters, along with Dewey Martin (Boone), and the comic backwoods relief of Arthur Hunicutt (Uncle Zeb). Mr. Hunicutt steals the show with his Southern drawl and folksy way cultivating a feeling for the viewer as being one of the "crew". The use of actual French actors & accents adds to the believable setting of the early 1800s environ and customs of the trappers and mountain men who blazed the trails into the West and survived through trade and co-operation with the Indian tribes who populated it. From using trees along the bank to catapult game down to the Keel boat, to the unforgettable scene where "medical" aid is rendered to Kirk.

Well worth your time and any children should be shown it as well because they'll remember it throughout their lives. I certainly have!


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