6.5/10
386
7 user 3 critic

The Big Land (1957)

Alan Ladd stars as a Kansas cattle rancher battling the elements and corrupt cattle buyers to build a railroad spur to the Rio Grande just after the United States' Civil War.

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Frank Gruber (novel), David Dortort (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Up Periscope (1959)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1942, Navy Lieutenant Kenneth Braden from the underwater demolition team is sent to a Japanese island to photograph secret radio codes.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: James Garner, Edmond O'Brien, Andra Martin
Sealed Cargo (1951)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In 1943, an American fishing boat has a fateful encounter with a seriously damaged Danish schooner off of Canada's Atlantic coast.

Director: Alfred L. Werker
Stars: Dana Andrews, Carla Balenda, Claude Rains
Backfire (1950)
Certificate: Passed Crime | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

While recuperating from wartime back injuries at a hospital, veteran Bob Corey is visited on Christmas Eve by a beautiful stranger with an even stranger message.

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: Viveca Lindfors, Dane Clark, Virginia Mayo
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

AWOL marine Sgt. Jim O'Hearn is court-martialed for a variety of offenses that carry 143 years in the stockade or the death penalty but refuses to aid in his own defense.

Director: Arthur Lubin
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Virginia Mayo, Chuck Connors
Roughshod (1949)
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Wrangler Clay Phillips and his younger brother Steve are taking horses to their ranch near Sonora when they come across four dance hall girls heading the same way with a wrecked buggy. One ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Robert Sterling, Gloria Grahame, Claude Jarman Jr.
Certificate: Passed Drama | Film-Noir | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Police seek a smuggler while doctors, unaware she's the same person, desperately comb unprotected New York for a smallpox carrier.

Director: Earl McEvoy
Stars: Evelyn Keyes, Charles Korvin, William Bishop
Certificate: Passed Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Unemployed cowhand Jim Garry is hired by his dishonest friend Tate Riling as muscle in a dispute between homesteaders and cattleman John Lufton.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Barbara Bel Geddes, Robert Preston
Certificate: Passed Drama | Music | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Society lawyer Christopher Durant agrees to defend his friend Phil Siddall when Siddall is arrested for the murder of an ex-girlfriend. With the help of nightclub singer Pat Abbott and ... See full summary »

Director: Edwin L. Marin
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Virginia Bruce, Leo Carrillo
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Social worker tries to befriend local slum gang.

Director: Don Siegel
Stars: John Cassavetes, Sal Mineo, James Whitmore
The Last Hunt (1956)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In 1883 South Dakota, two buffalo hunters start a personal feud over a captured squaw and a stand-off with a Dakota raiding party over some stolen horses.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Lloyd Nolan
Virginia City (1940)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Union officer Kerry Bradford escapes from Confederate Prison and is set to Virginia City in Nevada. Once there he finds that the former commander of his prison Vance Irby is planning to send $5 million in gold to save the Confederacy.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Steve Sinclair is a world-weary former gunslinger, now living as a peaceful rancher. Things go wrong when his wild younger brother Tony arrives on the scene with his new gun and pending bride and former saloon girl Joan Blake.

Directors: Robert Parrish, John Sturges
Stars: Robert Taylor, Julie London, John Cassavetes
Edit

Cast

Cast overview:
Alan Ladd ... Chad Morgan
Virginia Mayo ... Helen Jagger
Edmond O'Brien ... Joe Jagger
Anthony Caruso ... Brog
Julie Bishop ... Kate Johnson
John Qualen ... Sven Johnson
Don Castle ... Tom Draper
David Ladd ... David Johnson
Jack Wrather Jr. Jack Wrather Jr. ... Olaf Johnson
George J. Lewis ... Dawson
James Anderson ... Bob Cole
Don Kelly ... Billy Tyler
Charles Watts Charles Watts ... Dick McCullough
Edit

Storyline

After the Civil War, bitterness remained between Southerners and Northerners. In order to supply eastern cities with beef, former Confederates from Texas drove their herds to the rail-heads in Missouri. After a long and hard cattle drive through the Bad Lands, former Confederate officer Chad Morgan and his partners arrive at a rail-head in Missouri where corrupt cattle buyer Brog and his gunfighter partner offer to purchase the Texans' herds for a pitiful sum. Brog knows the cattle are weakened by the long drive from Texas and cannot survive a return drive to Texas. He also knows the Texans are desperate to sell for any amount of money they can settle for. After selling their herds to crooked buyer Brog, the Texans blame their partner Chad Morgan for their misfortune. It was Chad who suggested they sell their herds in Missouri. Heartbroken, Chad splits with his partners. On a rainy night, Chad is refused lodging by embittered Northerners who still see him as a Confederate enemy. He ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The big land was the big gamble ... They staked their gold, their women, and their lives !

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1957 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Buffalo Grass See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jaguar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although shot in academy 1.37:1 aspect ratio (for later television airing) the theatrical -- or *intended* (by the studio, producer, director and/or cinematographer) -- aspect ratio of this film is 1.85:1 widescreen. Most modern 16x9 (1.77:1) televisions have a "zoom to width" picture option, essentially allowing the viewer to see the film as the director and cinematographer originally planned. It is easy to spot films shot this way since all the titles and credits will still fit when properly cropped (they stay in the "middle" of the frame vertically), and there is an unusual amount of "headroom" above the actors in medium and close-up shots when viewed uncropped. Quite often "mistakes" -- like seeing equipment in the top or bottom of the uncropped frame -- would never have been seen by a theater audience. See more »

Goofs

At the dinner table, David takes the napkin off of his plate twice after his father Sven finishes saying grace. See more »

Quotes

Chad Morgan: Don't you want a drink?
Joe Jagger: Water? What am I, a trout?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stage Struck (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

I LEANED ON A MAN
Written by Leonard Rosenman and Wayne Shanklin
Sung by Bonnie Lou Williams (uncredited) dubbing for Virginia Mayo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Why,........."Cause the East Needs Beef."
25 November 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Big Land is a western that has Alan Ladd as a war weary Civil War veteran who wants to go into the cattle business. He's had enough of killing over five years, but in the end Ladd has to let his skill with a gun settle the usual problems of the frontier.

Anthony Caruso, a good friend of Ladd's in real life, has control of the rail shipping head where the Texas cattle arrive to be sent to the slaughterhouses in the east and he's not letting go. Of course the thing to do would be to just have it out right then and there with Caruso. But Ladd's had enough of killing from the Civil War and besides there would be no picture.

He persuades a group of settlers to found an incorporate a town where the railroad will eventually be coming to. Designing and planning the town is a dissolute architect played by Edmond O'Brien. O'Brien's got a pretty sister in Virginia Mayo which is another reason Ladd stays interested and around.

The thing I most remember about The Big Land is that constant repetition of the phrase, "the east needs beef." It's the reason Ladd, O'Brien, Mayo, are doing all that they are and enduring all the hardships. It's almost like no one will have a protein component in their diet unless Alan Ladd accomplishes what he sets out to do. It seemed to be a bit silly at times.

There's enough action though for any good western fan to overcome a rather trite story. American viewers would soon be seeing all about cattle drives in the western television series Rawhide. And on the silver screen, cattle drives were the background for much better films like John Wayne's Red River.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed