The Big Country

The Big Country

The Big Country

Gregory Peck is a cool-headed ex-sea captain who comes to the macho Old West to marry, but becomes embroiled in a feud between two families in this epic, classic Western. From director William Wyler (Ben-Hur, Roman Holiday), co-stars Jean Simmons and Charlton Heston.

McKay (Peck) arrives to marry Carroll Baker and settle down on the ranch of her father (Charles Bickford). A mutual dislike develops between Peck and the ranch foreman (Heston). Baker admires the manly sensibilities represented by Heston, which drives Peck away from her and into the arms of a schoolteacher (Jean Simmons) - who happens to own the only water for miles around. Bickford and Burl Ives (in an Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning performance) have been competing for rights to Simmons' water and are willing to use any means to get it. The intertwining tensions between Peck and Heston and Bickford and Ives leads to a climactic confrontation.

Best Supporting Actor (Ives) at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards 1959
1958Rating: G165 minsUSA
WesternClassic
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Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

The camera has captured a vast section of the southwest with such fidelity that the long stretches of dry country, in juxtaposition to tiny western settlements, and the giant canyon country in the arid area, have been recorded with almost three-dimensional effect.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

But for all this film's mighty pretensions, it does not get far beneath the skin of its conventional Western situation and its stock Western characters. It skims across standard complications and ends on a platitude. Peace is a pious precept but fightin' is more excitin'. That's what it proves.

Variety

Variety

press

The camera has captured a vast section of the southwest with such fidelity that the long stretches of dry country, in juxtaposition to tiny western settlements, and the giant canyon country in the arid area, have been recorded with almost three-dimensional effect.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

But for all this film's mighty pretensions, it does not get far beneath the skin of its conventional Western situation and its stock Western characters. It skims across standard complications and ends on a platitude. Peace is a pious precept but fightin' is more excitin'. That's what it proves.

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