7.1/10
3,434
50 user 23 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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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:

And now...for the first time...comes the towering story of the men who battered down the barriers to the untamed northwest and linked it with a great new Nation! (re-release poster) 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 recycled his protagonists singing "Whiskey Leave Me Alone" ten years later when he made Hatari with John Wayne in 1962. 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

Zeb Calloway: Blackfeet... proud injuns. They ain't gonna let no white man spile their country. The only thing they'a feared of is a white man's sickness.
Boone Cardell: What's that?
Zeb Calloway: Grabs. White men don't see nothing pretty unless they want to grab it. The more they grab, the more they want to grab. It's like a fever and they can't get cured. The only thing for them to do is to keep on grabbin' until everything belongs to white men and then start grabbin' from each other. I reckon injuns got no reason to love nothing ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Instead of the traditional RKO morse code sound, the film's opening theme music is played over the RKO radio tower image. Later, a title card is displayed explaining the premise of the story. 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

 
A Great Adventure Film
12 March 2000 | by jacksflicksSee all my reviews

"The Big Sky" is one of the most unique and entertaining adventure films ever made. Set in the American frontier of the early 1800s, it's the story of an ambitious party who pole their keel boat up the Missouri River into new territories, far beyond where other white men have ventured, to trade for furs with the Blackfeet Indians.

"The Big Sky" was filmed on location, and this alone makes the film worth watching, for the splenor of the Snake River and Grand Tetons, where the film was actually shot, is breathtaking.

But "The Big Sky" has other virtues which raise it far above the average "scenic". First, is the multi-layered plot. Besides the story of an enterprise, "The Big Sky" is about how men, in a time long past, interacted, when their differences were subordinated to a higher purpose. Second, is director Howard Hawks, whose trademark "naturalistic dialogue" technique is put to wonderful use here. Hawks works on complex relationships - male and female, "Frenchie" and Anglo backwoodsmen, Native Americans and whites - like a conductor a symphony. Third, and perhaps most touching, is the tale of male bonding not only among the group of men, but one-on-one between Jim Deakins, played by Kirk Douglas, and Boone, his young sidekick, played by Hawks protegé Dewey Martin. There's a nice, touching story toward the end.

This is a shamefully underrated film. Superb cinematography (Oscar nominated), rich plot, flawless casting (Arthur Hunnicutt nominated for Best Supporting Oscar), masterful direction, make "The Big Sky" a true classic.


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