7.1/10
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49 user 24 critic

The Big Sky (1952)

Approved | | Drama, Western | 27 November 1952 (Italy)
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
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Comedy

In a small Montana town, a young cowboy's affair with the wife of the local big shot sets in motion a series of darkly comedic events - leading everyone to ponder a newly uncertain future.

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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

Howard Hawks considered Charlton Heston, Robert Mitchum or Sydney Chaplin for the role of Boone Caudill. See more »

Goofs

When Jim dances with the tavern girl, he holds his rifle butt up, but in the very next shot at the bar, he is holding the rifle muzzle up. See more »

Quotes

'Frenchy' Jourdonnais: Calloway, what do you think? Do you think they went away, huh?
Zeb Calloway: They gone went. But the question is, will they stay gone went?
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 Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
`The land sure is big here, only the sky is bigger.'
19 May 2003 | by Ilya MauterSee all my reviews

The Big Sky is generally considered inferior and less important compared to Red River, the Western Howard Hawks directed in 1948 or four years before this one and which already has a status of a classic and Hawk's masterpiece. Howard Hawks himself wasn't pleased very much with the final result because he wanted John Wayne to play Kirk Douglas's role and mainly because the studio insisted on cutting out 20 minutes of the film to facilitate its distribution. In a conversation with Peter Bogdanovich Hawks later recalled that he had a difficulty recognizing his own film after seeing it in that `butchered' version.

But in my opinion The Big Sky stands on the level of Howard Hawk's best work remarkable for its visual beauty (though filming it in colour would definitely improve it), fine performances (Kirk Douglas is magnificent here and it's hard to imagine other actor playing this role), wonderful music from Dimitri Tiomkin and interesting story of, basically, friendship, that even might be called love, between the two main characters of Jim Deakins (Kirk Douglas) and Dewey Martin (Boone Caudill) but friendship on a background of a perilous and adventurous journey up the Missouri river to the Indian territory where no white man ever set his foot before, with a group of peculiar French adventurers and an Indian princess Teal Eye (Elizabeth Threatt) who steals their hearts and threatens their friendship.

A must see classic. 9/10


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