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The Big Country

  • Drama
  • 1958
  • William Wyler
  • 159 mins
  • PG

Summary

Epic, Oscar-winning western starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker and Charlton Heston. Having travelled west to claim the hand of Patricia Terrill, daughter of a powerful landowner, James McKay finds himself at the centre of a vicious feud between the Terrills and the Hannassey family. McKay is determined to stay out of the fight, but as events escalate, neutrality becomes more and more difficult to sustain.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

Unfairly neglected today, this major western is a film of truly epic dimensions. It tells the tale of a greenhorn sent to the wide-open spaces and plunged into the middle of a land feud, a role to which co-producer and star Gregory Peck was particularly suited - he was one of the few actors whose innate pacificism rang true. Thanks to the combination of top director William Wyler and a superb cast - that includes Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston and the Oscar-winning Burl Ives - the film is never tiresome, despite its length. It also features a great theme tune, a triumph for composer Jerome Moross. Though misused by a score of commercials, when heard in context, the Oscar-nominated music rightfully lifts this distinguished movie to the realm of screen classic.

How to watch

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Streaming

Credits

Cast

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James McKayGregory Peck
Julie MaragonJean Simmons
Patricia TerrillCarroll Baker
Steve LeechCharlton Heston
Rufus HannasseyBurl Ives
Major Henry TerrillCharles Bickford
RamonAlfonso Bedoya
Buck HannasseyChuck Connors
RafeChuck Hayward (1)
DudeBuff Brady
CrackerJim Burk

Crew

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DirectorWilliam Wyler

Details

Guidance
Some violence
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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