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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
Popularity
4,907 ( 209)
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

Gregory Peck and William Wyler had become friends a few years earlier and got on well while making Roman Holiday (1953), but they clashed repeatedly during filming. After Peck stormed off the set one day following a blazing row, Wyler told the press, "I wouldn't direct Peck again for a million dollars and you can quote me on that." They reconciled three years later, but true to the director's word Wyler and Peck never made another film together. See more »

Goofs

When Rufus crashes the party and dares the Major to shoot him, he takes three steps down the stairs and is directly in front on the Major. When he turns to leave he takes ten steps just to get back to the stairs. However, since he walks past the major to leave through another door, he actually never returns to the same path on which he entered. See more »

Quotes

Rufus Hannassey: [forced to shoot his own son] I told you! I told you I'd do it. I told you, but you wouldn't believe me! Damn your soul, I told you!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Phoenix Nights: Episode #1.2 (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Big Movie
13 November 2001 | by smatysiaSee all my reviews

Definitely a big movie. Some great performances here as well as stunning photography and interesting direction. Wyler frames so much of the action in huge sweeping vistas, to evoke the film's title. A good job by Peck, playing the sea captain gone west. All the other characters seemed to have him pegged as a pantywaist city slicker from back East, rather than someone who would have to be quite tough to survive in that unknown milieu. His fiancee, was such a spoiled brat type that one wonders what McKay ever saw in her back in Baltimore. There was some strange connection between her and her father, played adequately by Charles Bickford. (They called one another "Darling") Jean Simmons as Julie Maragon lit up the screen with her charm whenever she appeared. The supporting cast, however, stole the show. Chuck Connors, as the sniveling, evil Buck Hennessey. Burl Ives, as the Hennessey patriarch. (Oscar winner for this role) And Charlton Heston, as the Ladder Ranch foreman, Steve Leach. An interesting role for Heston to accept, a fairly unlikeable character. The plot and dialogue were thoroughly engaging. I definitely recommend this film. Grade: A


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