7.9/10
13,033
158 user 58 critic

The Big Country (1958)

Not Rated | | 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:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
3,492 ( 2,651)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Notorious gunfighter Jimmy Ringo rides into town to find his true love, who doesn't want to see him. He hasn't come looking for trouble, but trouble finds him around every corner.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Helen Westcott, Millard Mitchell
The Bravados (1958)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man is chasing four outlaws who killed his wife and finds them in a small town's jail but they escape to Mexico.

Director: Henry King
Stars: Gregory Peck, Joan Collins, Stephen Boyd
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century - including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads.

Directors: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and 2 more credits »
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck
Yellow Sky (1948)
Crime | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A pistol-packing tomboy and her grandfather discover a band of bank robbing bandits taking refuge in the neighboring ghost town.

Director: William A. Wellman
Stars: Gregory Peck, Anne Baxter, Richard Widmark
The Westerner (1940)
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Judge Roy Bean, a self-appointed hanging judge in Vinegarroon, Texas, befriends saddle tramp Cole Harden, who opposes Bean's policy against homesteaders.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan, Doris Davenport
The Heiress (1949)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young naive woman falls for a handsome young man who her emotionally abusive father suspects is a fortune hunter.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson
Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors: King Vidor, Otto Brower, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck
Shane (1953)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

Director: George Stevens
Stars: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin
Certificate: M Action | Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A bandit kidnaps a Marshal who has seen a map showing a gold vein on Indian lands, but other groups are looking for it too, while the Apache try to keep the secret location undisturbed.

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A sympathetic retired army scout takes-in a white woman and her half-Apache son, not knowing that the boy's father, a murderous renegade Apache, is after them.

Director: Robert Mulligan
Stars: Gregory Peck, Eva Marie Saint, Robert Forster
Action | Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive.

Director: Anthony Mann
Stars: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... James McKay
... Julie Maragon
... Patricia Terrill
... Steve Leech
... Rufus Hannassey
... Maj. Henry Terrill
... Ramón Gutierrez
... Buck Hannassey
... Rafe Hannassey
Buff Brady ... Dude Hannassey
Jim Burk ... Blackie / Cracker Hannassey
... Hannassey Woman
... Terrill Cowboy
Bob Morgan ... Terrill Cowboy
John McKee ... Terrill Cowboy
Edit

Storyline

Retired, wealthy sea Captain Jame 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:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

October 1958 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Horizontes de grandeza  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Peck wore lifts in the film so he would look taller than Charlton Heston and more in line with Chuck Connors. See more »

Goofs

When Buck shoots at McKay in the duel, he causes a wound at least an inch long on the side of his forehead. When Rufus Hannassey is challenging the Major to single combat a little while later, McKay's face is shown full face in one shot and there is no trace of the wound. See more »

Quotes

[Leetch tries to impress Patricia by picking a fight with McKay]
James McKay: If it's a fight you want, you've picked the right time for it, haven't you?
Steve Leech: Yeah, I'm offering you a fight. Or ain't that a nice word back east?
James McKay: You're gambling, Leech. You're gambling that if we fight, you can beat me. And you're gambling that if you beat me, Ms. Terrill will admire you for it.
Steve Leech: Out here, we leave a lady's name out of an argument.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Le Pont du Nord (1981) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Big entertainment, bigger music.
4 February 2002 | by See all my reviews

As several characters state in the film, "This is a big country" and THIS is a BIG MOVIE. It screams out for widescreen viewing. Many of the characters are largely and broadly drawn with big strokes (stubborn Peck, fiery Baker, resentful Heston, righteous Simmons, imperious Bickford, cantankerous Ives and slithering Connors) yet they all are dwarfed by the huge landscape. Tall men, horses, trees and houses are all presented as so many ants on an ant hill in many of the images. The film has a compelling story and intriguing interpersonal relationships and rivalries which are all enhanced by this larger than life approach. The landscape is sometimes awe-inspiring, notably in the Blanco Canyon scenes near the end of the film. Peck is appropriately straight-laced and uncomfortable in this rough & tumble setting, lovely Simmons is a likable heroine and Baker is an effective daddy's girl with misplaced affections. Connors acquits himself very nicely as a thoroughly detestable punk. Heston comes off extremely strong in this film. He's completely at home and was probably never more handsome (check out the scene in which he's roused from his bed by Peck!) He makes the most out of this secondary role. Bickford and Oscar-winning Ives make a great pair of adversaries...almost makes one wish for a prequel to see what got these two so riled up (but today's filmmakers couldn't be counted upon to do it in a tasteful, classy way.) Memorable scenes include the taunting of Peck by Connors and his brothers, Ives grand entrance into Bickford's house and an almost legendary fight scene between Heston and Peck. All of the above are raised to an even higher plane of excellence by what must be one of the greatest musical scores in film history (western or otherwise.) Jerome Moross composed several themes (the opening title is the best known) which put this film into a whole new category of enjoyment. The score stands alone as a beautiful listening experience and paired with the images in this film, it is amazing. It occasionally seems intrusive, yet knows when to keep quiet as well. The Oscar that year went to Tiompkin's "Old Man and the Sea", but it seems astonishing that anything could have bested this score. The film's only real flaw is slight overlength, but nothing really stands out as aching to be cut! Maybe just bits and pieces....but, really, the story just takes it's time and builds to some stirring moments.


77 of 89 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 158 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

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

Start your free trial