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>
Burl Ives's Oscar winning performance is his only Academy Award nomination. See more »
When Steve Leech first picks up Jim McKay in the buckboard he drives past Buck Hannassey and gang standing outside the saloon mocking Steve. The sun is nearly down as the shadows are very long. Steve then drives around the corner to Julie's house and now the sun is directly overhead. See more »
I always tell anyone who listens that Gregory Peck never made a bad film. The Big Country is one of his best and one I have watched over and over. As of this writing it is being run by WETA in the widescreen version and I have watched it twice in the last 2 daze . . .
I read a lot of the comments of my fellow admirers and there seems to be a consensus that this movie has few if any weaknesses. Nearly every comment mentions the musical score and the great cast. The unforgettable Burl Ives in his Oscar winning role, Charleton Heston, Carol Baker, Charles Bickford, Chuck Conners and Jean Simmons . . . what a beauty! Until this go 'round I had never given much thought to the location of the story. I figured The Big Country was an obvious reference to The Big Sky country of Montana or at least Wyoming. Since I have been to Texas it would be easy to assume the location was there, especially the cattle ranches and dry canyons. Thanx to IMDb I now know the film was shot in California, another place I have lived and noticed the ranches.
The one overriding thing about this movie that I always felt was that it should have been a mini-series and should have gone on and on. It was a story you could put yourself into and who wouldn't have wanted to be James McKay falling in love with Julie Maragon played by the great Jean Simmons. Bravo!
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