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 <email@example.com>
Based on a short story ("Ambush At Blanco Canyon"), later expanded into novel length ("The Big Country") by Donald Hamilton. Hamilton would later write the Matt Helm series about an American government killer; some of these books were the loose basis of spy film genre spoofs starring Dean Martin. In the first novel (Death Of A Citizen ") we discover that like his creator, Donald Hamilton, Matt Helm also writes Wesrerns. See more »
When McKay is pulled off the carriage by the Hannassey's, the rifle appears in McKay's hands. See more »
Major Henry Terrill:
This is the west, Jim, a man is still expected to defend himself. If he allows people to think he won't, he's in trouble. Bad trouble.
See more »
I love movies, and this is as close to perfect, as it gets. First of all can, you imagine a movie with such a cast. Heston, Peck, Ives, Bickford, Connor, Baker, and Jean Simmons ( one of my favorite actors ). Throw in the scenery, the incredible musical score, and a plot with romance, and minimal violence, and you have a classic. On a home widescreen with the volume high, I am sure even compared to todays movies it is entertaining and ageless. As a footnote, I saw this movie years ago and it stuck in my mind. One day while listening to CBC radio on a call in request segment someone called in and asked for the theme from Big Country. It stirred me to track down a copy of the movie. I also like the story about Heston thinking of turning it down ( An Actor's Life ) since his part was secondary. His agent said are you nuts to turn down Willy Wyler. This movie led Wyler to cast him in Ben Hur.
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