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The Big Country (1958)

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 »
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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 Bob Morgan ... Terrill Cowboy
John McKee John McKee ... Terrill Cowboy
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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:

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:

Horizontes de grandeza 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

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 »

Goofs

When McKay is pulled off the carriage by the Hannassey's, the rifle appears in McKay's hands. See more »

Quotes

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 »

Connections

Featured in American Masters: Directed by William Wyler (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of my Favorites
29 December 2007 | by louroSee all my reviews

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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