The Big Country (1958) Movie

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(Hollywood) USA

Ratings / Votes
7.8/ 10 (7776 Votes)

MPAA Ratings

Production Company
Anthony Productions
Worldwide Productions

Production Designer

All Producers

All Directors


Release Date
(USA) - 1 October 1958
(Denmark) - 9 March 1959
(Sweden) - 18 March 1959
(West Germany) - 26 March 1959
(Finland) - 27 March 1959

Running Time

Big they fought! Big they loved! Big their story!

ambush, attempted-murder, attempted-rape, bare-chested-male, bare-knuckle-boxing, based-on-book, based-on-novel, blockbuster, blonde, broken-engagement, brunette, bully, bully-comeuppance, canyon, cattle, chase, cigar-smoking, colt-45, comeuppance, cowardice, cowboy, cowboy-and-outlaw, cowboy-boots, cowboy-hat, cowboy-shirt,

Technical Support
OFM:35 mm
PFM:35 mm
RAT:2.35 : 1

Related Pictures

Pictures of The Big Country (1958) Movie not found

Full Cast

  1. Alexander, Richard (I) as (uncredited) [Party Guest - Oceans]
  2. Bedoya, Alfonso as [Ramón Guiteras] <7>
  3. Bickford, Charles as [Maj. Henry Terrill] <6>
  4. Brady, Buff as [Dude Hannassey] <10>
  5. Burk, Jim as [Blackie/Cracker Hannassey] <11>
  6. Cheshire, Harry as (uncredited) [Party Guest]
  7. Connors, Chuck (I) as [Buck Hannassey] <8>
  8. Hayward, Chuck (I) as [Rafe Hannassey] <9>
  9. Heston, Charlton as [Steve Leech] <4>
  10. Ives, Burl as [Rufus Hannassey] <5>
  11. Jensen, Jay W. as (uncredited) [Cowboy]
  12. Kerr, Donald (I) as (uncredited) [Liveryman]
  13. McDowall, Roddy as (uncredited) [Hannassey Watchman]
  14. McKee, John (II) as [Terrill Cowboy] <15>
  15. Morgan, Bob (I) as [Terrill Cowboy] <14>
  16. Peck, Carey Paul as (uncredited) [Boy]
  17. Peck, Gregory as [James McKay] <1>
  18. Peck, Jonathan (IV) as (uncredited) [Boy]
  19. Peck, Stephen (I) as (uncredited) [Boy]
  20. Roberson, Chuck as [Terrill Cowboy] <13>
  21. Sanford, Ralph (I) as (uncredited) [Party Guest]
  22. Talbot, Slim as (as Jay Slim Talbot) [Terrill Cowboy] <16>
  23. Adams, Dorothy (I) as [Hannassey Woman] <12>
  24. Baker, Carroll (I) as [Patricia Terrill] <3>
  25. Simmons, Jean (I) as [Julie Maragon] <2>


  1. Drama
  2. Romance
  3. Western

Full Plot

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 civil 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. E.W. DesMarais Plot not found

Total Business


Movie Certificate

Approved (USA)(PCA #18972)
PG (Canada)(Ontario)
PG (Australia)
Not Rated (USA)(DVD)
16 (Norway)
Unrated (USA)
K-16 (Finland)
15 (Sweden)
12 (West Germany)

Music Composers

  1. Moross, Jerome


  1. Planer, Franz (as Franz F. Planer)


American Broadcasting Company (ABC) [us] - (1962) (USA) (TV) (broadcast premiere)
Chapel Distribution [au] - (1997) (Australia) (theatrical)
ClassicLine [br] - (2004) (Brazil) (DVD)
Continental Home Vídeo [br] - (2006) (Brazil) (DVD)
Image Entertainment [us] - (1995) (USA) (video) (laserdisc)
MGM Home Entertainment [de] - (2005) (Germany) (DVD)
MGM Home Entertainment [us] - (2007) (USA) (DVD)
MGM/UA Home Entertainment [us] - (1997) (USA) (VHS) (pan/scan)
MGM/UA Home Entertainment [us] - (2001) (USA) (DVD) (widescreen)
MGM/UA Home Entertainment [us] - (2001) (USA) (VHS) (widescreen)
MGM/UA Home Entertainment [us] - (2002) (USA) (DVD)
Tocantins [br] - (????) (Brazil) (VHS)
United Artists [de] - (1959) (West Germany) (theatrical)
United Artists [us] - (1958) (USA) (theatrical)


  1. Bass, Saul (title designer)
  2. Benoit, Carl P. (location manager)
  3. Freedle, Sam (script supervisor)
  4. Gary, Robert (I) (script supervisor) (uncredited)
  5. Gilmore, Kenneth (first aid) (uncredited)
  6. Hourihan, Harold (office accountant) (uncredited)
  7. Jank, Al (ramrod) (uncredited)
  8. Kennedy, Monty W. 'Red' (location auditor) (uncredited)
  9. Leverette, Carey (choreographer) (uncredited)
  10. Marks, Clarence (assistant: William Wyler)
  11. Mines, Harry (unit publicist) (uncredited)


Buck Hannassey: You want me, Pa? Rufus Hannassey: Before you was born I did. Rufus Hannassey: If you ain't the mother and father of all liars! Steve Leech: All I can say, McKay, is you take a helluva long time to say good-bye. James McKay: I was just about finished if it's okay with you. Major Henry Terrill: What do you want Hannassey? Rufus Hannassey: Just payin' back the call that you and your men did to my boys this mornin'... sorry I wasn't there to give you the proper welcome. I got me something to say that's about thirty years overdue. This is a mighty fine house, Major Terrill, a gentleman's house. Those are mighty fine clothes your wearin'. Well, maybe you got some of these folks fooled, but you ain't got me fooled, not by a damn sight! The Hannassey's know and admire a real gentleman when they seen one, and they recgonize the smell of a high tone skunk when they smell one. Now, I'm not here tonight complaining about twenty-three of your brave men, beating three of my boys until they couldn't stand. Maybe they had it coming anyway - they're full grown and can take their lickin's. I'm also not here complaining that you're trying to buy the Big Muddy, to keep my cows from water. It's interesting to see the daughter of a genuine gentleman like Glenn Maragon under this roof! I'll tell you why I'm here, Major Terrill. The next time you come a busting and blazing into my place scaring the kids and the women folks, when you invade my home, like you was the law or God Almighty... then I say to you, I've seen every kind of critter God ever made, and I ain't never seen a more meaner, lower, pitiful, yellow, stinking hyprocrite than you! Now you can swallow up a lot of folks and make them like it, but you ain't swallowing me, I'm stuck in your crawl, Major Terrill, and you can't spit me out! You hear me now! You've rode into my place and beat my men for the last time and I give ya warning, you step foot in Blanco Canyon once more and this country goin' to run red with blood until there ain't one of us left! Now I don't hold mine so precious, so if you want to start, here, start now! [Buck Hannassey is about to shoot the weaponless James McKay until Buck's father intercedes] Rufus Hannassey: You don't shoot an unarmed man... not while I'm around. Major Terrill: There's no prettier sight in the world than 10,000 head of cattle... unless it's 50,000. Rufus Hannassey: Why ain't you dead? You let 'em run my cows off and you come back standing up! Buck Hannassey: What could we do, Pa? There was twenty of them... just a few of us! Rufus Hannassey: Them cows is worth more than the whole lot of ya. Rufus Hannassey: Crawl, you act like a dog, crawl like one! Crawl I said, crawl! James McKay: I'm not going to go on living in the middle of a civil war. Buck Hannassey: Remember, the Terrills ain't no friend of ours. Julie Maragon: I'll choose my own friends. Buck Hannassey: Oh, that won't do. You got to be on one side or the other. You can't have it both ways. Rufus Hannassey: The Hannasseys will have no peace until the bones of Henry Terrill is bleaching in Blanco Canyon. Now he started this blood-spilling, and I aim to finish it. Steve Leech: I don't know that I would wear that hat too long around here, Mr. McKay. James McKay: Oh, why not? Steve Leech: Oh, one of these wild cowboys might take it into their head to shoot it off ya. Rufus Hannassey: I'm a law-abiding man. That is, if there's any law to abide by. 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. Patricia Terrill: But if he loved me, why would he let me think he was a coward? Julie Maragon: If you love him, why would you think it? How many times does a man have to win you? Patricia Terrill: Well, even when you rode Old Thunder, everybody knew it. Ramon knew it. Julie knew it. But me? Not a word. Why? You know how much it meant to me... with everybody laughing at me. And don't tell me they weren't. But you wouldn't do it for me. Why not? Why not for me? James McKay: There's some things a man has to prove to himself alone... not to anyone else. Patricia Terrill: Not even to the woman he loves. James McKay: Least of all her... if she loves him. Rufus Hannassey: Treat her right. Take a bath sometime. Major Henry Terrill: If there's anything I admire more than a dedicated friend, it is a dedicated enemy. Steve Leech: You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible. Rufus Hannassey: He's going to be the most surprised dead man you ever saw! [Leetch tries to impress Patricia by picking a fight with McKay] James McKay: If it's a fight you want, you've picked the right time for it, haven't you? Steve Leech: Yeah, I'm offering you a fight. Or ain't that a nice word back east? James McKay: You're gambling, Leech. You're gambling that if we fight, you can beat me. And you're gambling that if you beat me, Ms. Terrill will admire you for it. Steve Leech: Out here, we leave a lady's name out of an argument. Patricia Terrill: [discussing McKay's "cowardice"] Don't you care what people think of you? James McKay: I'm not responsible for what people think, Pat, only for what I am. James McKay: [attempting to ride "Old Thunder"] Any advice? Ramón Guiteras: Yes! Don't do it. Rufus Hannassey: [examining McKay's dueling pistols] These guns loaded? James McKay: All but the caps. They haven't been fired for a long time - the vents will have to be cleared out. I'll do it for you, if you like. Rufus Hannassey: Teach your grandmother to suck eggs! I've been handling guns like this, flintlock and caplock, since before you were born. 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! James McKay: Tell me Leech, what did we prove? Julie Maragon: Any ranch that you can see on foot just isn't worth looking at.

Other Titles

  1. Il grande paese (1958) (ENG)

  2. Weites Land (1959) (ENG)

  3. Weites Land (1959) (ENG)
    (West Germany)

Shooting/Filming Locations

  1. Ione, California, USA
  2. California, USA - (exteriors)
  3. Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Chinle, Arizona, USA
  4. Farmington, California, USA
  5. Marysville, California, USA
  6. Mojave Desert, California, USA
  7. Red Rock Canyon State Park - Highway 14, Cantil, California, USA
  8. Stockton, California, USA


- The character played by 'Charles Bickford' (qv) was supposed to represent then US President 'Dwight D. Eisenhower' (qv).

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

- Aged 47 at the time of filming, 'Burl Ives' (qv) was only 11 years older than 'Chuck Connors (I)' (qv), who played his son.

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

- 'Charlton Heston' (qv) 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' (qv) and 'William Wyler' (qv).

- 'Gregory Peck' (qv) and director 'William Wyler' (qv) 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.".

- 'Alfonso Bedoya' (qv)'s last film. A longtime alcoholic, he died before it was released.

- 'Gregory Peck' (qv) and co-star 'Charlton Heston' (qv) both played the infamous Nazi war criminal Dr. 'Josef