The Big Country (1958)

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    There are 34 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by The Irish Duke.

    • The Big Country (1958)

      THE BIG COUNTRY

      DIRECTED AND PRODUCED BY WILLAM WYLER
      ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS GREGORY PECK/ ROBERT WYLER


      -The-Big-Country-1958-westerns-26903465-720-320.jpg

      Information From IMDb

      Plot Summary
      Retired, wealthy sea Captain Jame McKay (Gregory Peck) arrives in the vast expanse of the West to marry fiancée Pat Terrill (Carroll Baker). McKay is a man whose values & approach to life are a mystery to the ranchers & ranch foreman Steve Leech (Charlton Heston) takes an immediate dislike to him. Pat is spoiled, selfish & controlled by her wealthy father, Major Henry Terrill (Charles Bickford). The Major is involved in a ruthless civil war, over watering rights for cattle, with a rough hewn clan led by Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives). The land in question is owned by Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons) & both Terrill & Hannassey want it.
      Written by E.W. DesMarais

      Full Cast
      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 Guiteras
      Chuck Connors ... Buck Hannassey
      Chuck Hayward ... Rafe Hannassey
      Buff Brady ... Dude Hannassey
      Jim Burk ... Blackie / Cracker Hannassey
      Dorothy Adams ... Hannassey woman
      Chuck Roberson ... Terrill cowboy
      Bob Morgan ... Terrill cowboy
      John McKee ... Terrill cowboy
      Slim Talbot ... Terrill cowboy (as Jay Slim Talbot)
      Richard Alexander ... Party guest (Oceans) (uncredited)
      Harry Cheshire ... Party guest (uncredited)
      Jay W. Jensen ... Cowboy (uncredited)
      Donald Kerr ... Liveryman (uncredited)
      Carey Paul Peck ... Boy (uncredited)
      Jonathan Peck ... Boy (uncredited)
      Stephen Peck ... Boy (uncredited)
      Ralph Sanford ... Party guest (uncredited)

      Writing credits
      Donald Hamilton (novel)
      Jessamyn West (adaptation) &
      Robert Wyler (adaptation)
      James R. Webb (screenplay) &
      Sy Bartlett (screenplay) and
      Robert Wilder (screenplay)

      Original Music
      erome Moross

      Trivia
      * The character played by Charles Bickford was supposed to represent then US President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

      * According to Gregory Peck, director William Wyler intended the film to be a left-wing allegory for the Cold War.

      * Aged 47 at the time of filming, Burl Ives was only 11 years older than Chuck Connors, who played his son.

      * The film is credited with starting the trend for pacifist westerns.

      * Charlton Heston initially turned down the role of ranch foreman Steve Leech because he didn't think the part was big enough. His agent convinced him that it would be worth it just for the opportunity to work with Gregory Peck and William Wyler.

      Goofs
      * Crew or equipment visible: When McKay first arrives in town and meets Julie at the gate, some object (boom mike?) is visible above their heads (center screen).

      * Continuity: Towards the end of the scene where McKay is learning to ride the bucking horse he is thrown from the horse, lands, removes the straw from his hair and then removes the straw from his hair again when he is helped up.

      Filming locations
      California, USA (exteriors)
      Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, Arizona, USA
      Farmington, California, USA
      Marysville, California, USA
      Mojave Desert, California, USA
      Red Rock Canyon State Park - Highway 14, Cantil, California, USA
      Stockton, California, USA
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 5 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      The Big Country is a 1958 American epic Western film directed by William Wyler
      and starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives.
      The supporting cast features Charles Bickford and Chuck Connors.

      The picture was based on the serialized magazine novel Ambush
      at Blanco Canyon by Donald Hamilton. and was co-produced by Wyler and Peck
      The opening title sequence was created by Saul Bass.
      The film is one of very few pictures in which Heston plays a major supporting role instead of the lead.

      Ives won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance
      as well as the Golden Globe Award.
      The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for the musical score by Jerome Moross



      The Big Country, I enjoyed, even if it was a little drawn out!
      Coming in at nearly three hours, was tiresome at times!

      Gregory Peck, who also produced the film, was magnificent,
      as was Charlton Heston, who originally thought his part was below him,
      but gave a strong, solid, performance.
      The film was somewhat stolen by the tough burly neighbour,Burl Ives,
      who played the arch enemy with such skill,
      he won an the Academy Award for Best Supporting actor.
      Along with Jean Simmons, Carrol Baker and Chuck Connors,
      William Wyler's movie, was well received,
      and what about that theme music??
      It was brilliant!
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England

      The post was edited 1 time, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      "The Big Country" has always been one of my favorite Westerns. I personally think Chuck Connors should have won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar instead of Burl Ives. Chuck was brilliant in the role he played, by far his best performance.

      It also starred Jean Simmons, one of the most beautiful women ever to grace the silver screen.

      Like you, Keith, I sure did enjoy that score.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      I must be dull and insensitive because I missed the left-wing and pacifist nuances mentioned in your Trivia summary, Keith. All I saw was an extremely outstanding example of the Western genre.

      Vera, you should obtain a copy of this film because it's a great Western with a wonderful cast and superlative acting by all the players.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      [extendedmedia]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/ifxqOVt_YE8&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/ifxqOVt_YE8&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/extendedmedia]
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      Just wanted to express my appreciation for all the great music you've arranged for the board, Keith. As we all know, the score to a movie (or tv series) adds immensely to its' overall appeal. And the music you've been posting is some of my favorite from all-time.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      I've always loved the music from The Big Country. To bad you couldn't get the actual opening from the film, Ethan, showing Gregory Peck and Carol Baker riding that wagon across that vast expanse of prairie looking like two specks with that magnificent theme playing. Also loved the music they played in the part where Charles Bickford as Henry Terrill goes tearing into Blanco Canyon all by himself then is joined by Charlton Heston and the rest of the ranch hands.
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      [extendedmedia]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/u6vREiRNMFc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/u6vREiRNMFc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/extendedmedia]
      Best Wishes
      Keith
      London- England
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      ethanedwards wrote:

      [extendedmedia]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/u6vREiRNMFc&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/u6vREiRNMFc&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/extendedmedia]


      Always one of my favorite Westerns, and I have many. :teeth_smile:
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      Thought I'd stir the pot and dredge this title up again.
      Missed this on it's first run, but since I was ten at the time, I got over it.
      In the early '60s, I picked up the soundtrack for $0.99 and it blew me away on it's own.
      Finally got to see it on network TV, which is no way to see any widescreen movie, but commercials and all didn't dampen my enthusiasm for this one.
      Granted, it's a bit of a soap opera, but the main male characters represent a unique brand of "manliness" that play against each other but don't fit together, all of whom are dwarfed by the landscape.
      Great stuff. Rent it on dvd


      We deal in lead, friend.
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      Gorch wrote:

      Thought I'd stir the pot and dredge this title up again.
      Missed this on it's first run, but since I was ten at the time, I got over it.
      In the early '60s, I picked up the soundtrack for $0.99 and it blew me away on it's own.
      Finally got to see it on network TV, which is no way to see any widescreen movie, but commercials and all didn't dampen my enthusiasm for this one.
      Granted, it's a bit of a soap opera, but the main male characters represent a unique brand of "manliness" that play against each other but don't fit together, all of whom are dwarfed by the landscape.
      Great stuff. Rent it on dvd


      We deal in lead, friend.


      It's the only role in which I thought Chuck Connors ever deserved an Oscar. Even though he played a cowardly snake, he played it to perfection. I thought he was far more effective in his role than Burl Ives, who actually won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. I love that score too.
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      Stumpy wrote:

      It's the only role in which I thought Chuck Connors ever deserved an Oscar. Even though he played a cowardly snake, he played it to perfection. I thought he was far more effective in his role than Burl Ives, who actually won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. I love that score too.


      I also thought Connors was very good in Geronimo, although I suppose that movie would be rather un PC now. I did like The Big Country a lot, like High Noon you don't have to be aware of the political connotations to appreciate it. I think they could have cut about half an hour though.
    • Re: Classic Movie Westerns- The Big Country (1958)

      Stumpy wrote:

      It's the only role in which I thought Chuck Connors ever deserved an Oscar. Even though he played a cowardly snake, he played it to perfection. I thought he was far more effective in his role than Burl Ives, who actually won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. I love that score too.


      You're right about Connors. He did deserve at least a nomination but, I thought Ives completely stole the movie. Best role I've ever seen him do.