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The Big Country (1958)

Passed | | Romance, Western | October 1958 (USA)
A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land.

Director:

William Wyler

Writers:

James R. Webb (screenplay), Sy Bartlett (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... James McKay
Jean Simmons ... Julie Maragon
Carroll Baker ... Patricia Terrill
Charlton Heston ... Steve Leech
Burl Ives ... Rufus Hannassey
Charles Bickford ... Maj. Henry Terrill
Alfonso Bedoya ... Ramón Gutierrez
Chuck Connors ... Buck Hannassey
Chuck Hayward ... Rafe Hannassey
Buff Brady Buff Brady ... Dude Hannassey
Jim Burk Jim Burk ... Blackie / Cracker Hannassey
Dorothy Adams ... Hannassey Woman
Chuck Roberson ... Terrill Cowboy
Bob Morgan ... Terrill Cowboy
John McKee John McKee ... Terrill Cowboy
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Storyline

Retired, wealthy sea Captain James McKay arrives in the vast expanse of the West to marry fiancée Pat Terrill. McKay is a man whose values and approach to life are a mystery to the ranchers and ranch foreman Steve Leech takes an immediate dislike to him. Pat is spoiled, selfish and controlled by her wealthy father, Major Henry Terrill. The Major is involved in a ruthless land war, over watering rights for cattle, with a rough hewn clan led by Rufus Hannassey. The land in question is owned by Julie Maragon and both Terrill and Hannassey want it. Written by E.W. DesMarais <jlongst@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Big they fought! Big they loved! Big their story!

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

October 1958 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Big Country See more »

Filming Locations:

Ione, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director William Wyler absolutely hated Jerome Moross's score for "The Big Country", and insisted on hiring another composer to redo the job. But preview audiences were so enthusiastic about the music, especially the opening theme, that star and co-producer Gregory Peck persuaded Wyler to back down. Moross went on to earn an Oscar nomination and his score for "The Big Country" is now considered one of the classic western soundtracks. See more »

Goofs

As Steve and the major ride into Blanco canyon, Steve's bandanna is tied over his right shoulder, he looks back to see riders coming and it is over his left shoulder. See more »

Quotes

Rufus Hannassey: Why ain't you dead? You let 'em run my cows off and you come back standing up!
Buck Hannassey: What could we do, Pa? There was twenty of them... just a few of us!
Rufus Hannassey: Them cows is worth more than the whole lot of ya.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Interactive Film Quiz (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

Male and Female styles and values
14 December 2006 | by pdelanderSee all my reviews

Alec West said spoke well in his post about the movie. It is one of my favorite movies for similar reasons. I would only add that I have used the film to illustrate different male and female values and styles. In Jim and Leech, and Buck as well, we see quite different versions of maleness: their world-views and how they present themselves to others. The contrast between Terrill and Hannassay is another interesting study. Pat and Julie offer a couple wonderful contrasts of female ways of being in the world. As a therapist, I have seen present day versions of these characters' values and behaviors time and again. My favorite character is Jim, but the character of greatest interest to me is Steve Leech. I admire his loyalty and find his transformation through his interactions with McKay well drawn.


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