The Big Country (1958) - Romance, Western

Hohum Score



A New Englander arrives in the Old West, where he becomes embroiled in a feud between two families over a valuable patch of land.

IMDB: 7.9
Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons
Length: 166 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 11 out of 167 found boring (6.58%)

One-line Reviews (86)

Fascinating reviews.

Definitely worth watching by all.

Part of the plot, which is pleasantly silly, is that the cowboys wouldn't realize that a sea captain from the 1800's would have to be tough as nails, so Peck's forbearance gets him labelled a sissy, and he has to beat the tar out of a couple of people before this confusion gets cleared up.

Despite the limitations of this genre, it is still an entertaining movie.

The movie falls down in the sense that the romances are simply contrived and the motives of the women need more depth.

Both these films are thematically rich and complex, layered with gripping sub-plots emerging in all the respective stages of development.

The secret, I think, lies in an unusually persuasive male cast, and a cleverly suspenseful screenplay.

Crisp editing and compelling performances propel this story along fluidly, as does a glorious score that's perfectly utilized.

4.5/10-boring story, good actors, good music.

Some great performances here as well as stunning photography and interesting direction.

The plot and dialogue were thoroughly engaging.

Filmed in parts of California and Arizona, it has some absolutely breathtaking landscapes, and terrific use of Technicolor.

It was prudent to decline engaging in a fist fight, with possible serious injury, over the seemingly trivial question of whether he had become lost in his solo survey of the ranch.

This is monumental - fascinating - very American - and wonderful.

The myth of the American frontier in cinema is fascinating to me and any film that develops the ideas inherently has my attention.

Although many films from the 1950s now seem dated, this is still enjoyable.

However it is mind-numbingly repetitive, contains some stupid cues (like the "circus" music heard after Peck tames Old Thunder) and after two hours and forty minutes becomes banal and grating.

THE BIG COUNTRY is a bore.

The story is unique, exciting, and unpredictable.

In the words of respected critic, Leonard Maltin, the film is, "a languid operatic masterpiece".

A fellow reviewer on this forum, in his denunciation of "TBC" ("boring, boring") drew comparisons with Sergio Leone's "Once Upon A Time in the West" (a brilliant film, no doubt).

A profound and humanly instructive as well as great entertaining Western.

Even though I know what is coming in all the important scenes, I still find them entertaining and captivating.

all-star cast in entertaining western .

The theme is very interesting: the meaning of true courage versus empty braggadocio and foolhardy posing.

Then, the people and their motivations become real and the film lifts itself out of the trite stereotypical and delivers a rationally and emotionally satisfying ending.

The Big Country is a morality play as well as it is an entertaining spoof of the western genre.

Peck seems an eastern "dude" out of water when he arrives with his derby style hat (exciting the hoots of laughter from Chuck Connors and his men (the "Hannasey" white trash)).

Epic in scope, with the Wyler 'style' clearly evident in pacing and characterization, THE BIG COUNTRY may have misfired as an 'Anti-Western', but is still an entertaining, engaging production, and certainly deserves a place in any film fan's collection.

The musical moment is simply thrilling!

Far from being simple formulaic good versus evil, the script makes room for ambiguity and conflicting moral codes, and it's hard to say who's right and who's wrong in the struggle between two feuding cattle barons.

And Burl Ives is riveting; he received an Oscar for his performance.

This film has a stunning opening sequence with credits by the great Saul Bass and one of the most beautiful scores ever composed.

All in all, this film is worth watching for Western fans and for those who enjoy a drama with a wide scope.

Despite their freedom to make movie propaganda they were they same enemies of American freedom then as now).

What makes "The Big Country" really outstanding, however, is Jerome Moross's invigorating music score - one of the most exciting ever composed for a motion picture.

It's not a great western (it's not even as good as "Angel and the Badman"), but it's entertaining.

In this breathtaking landscape the story of the characters unfold with their prides, jealousies, fears, loves, pretensions, hopes, disappointments.

Boring REALLY boring .

Despite its age The Big Country is still an entertaining movie.

He attaches no importance to the fact that he is perceived as a coward, and the wonderful scene where we discover that he is far from cowardly involves a fist fight with Charlton Heston which takes place secretly at night (so that no one else knows), and filmed from a long way away - the struggle of these two men is reduced to insignificance as we see the two tiny figures battling in the middle of a seemingly limitless empty plain.

Furthermore , this exciting Western pits stubborn Gregory Peck and tough ranch foreman , Charlton Heston, as ongoing adversaries , both of whom carry out a marathon fist-fight .

Enjoyable ranch-war Western with an outstanding Oscar-Nominated Musical Score...

All that Burl Ives captured in Rufus and The Big Country is worth watching just for him alone.

The film has a compelling story and intriguing interpersonal relationships and rivalries which are all enhanced by this larger than life approach.

Add the commanding Ives and Bickford as feuding patriarchs, and the sum-total makes for an unusually compelling male cast.

The performances are terrific as the production values stunning.

The conflict resolution at the end feels a little contrived.

Written with skill and care by Jerome Moross it is at once evocative and descriptive and the opening theme is surely one of the most whistled tunes "out west".

While this is an entertaining and satisfying western, it comes with a message.

The exchanges between he and Chuck Connors are riveting.

The music is good, the actors are good, the places are beautiful, but the story is BORING!!

The film's sole problem is the running time; at nearly three hours, this is just way too long and gives the movie numerous pacing issues.

Ives' character is brilliantly drawn too - a great sense of fair play, an admiration for gentlemen - which he is decidedly not and knows - a feeling that he has never gotten much of what he wanted, his disappointment in his son - these are fascinating to see.

Clocking in at an inflated 2 hours and 46 minutes, this pretentious horse opera is still mandatory for all serious western movie aficionados.

Although many films from the 1950s seem dated, this is still enjoyable.

Another great asset to the film is the rousing musical score.

On the whole then, a mighty long, mighty big but still mighty enjoyable western a feast for the eyes and ears.

I saw it on the big screen over 47 years ago and still i find it entertaining me all the the time.

Much as I love Ben Hur ,I believe William Wyler made a more engrossing story/movie with greater pathos in The Big Country.

The Western setting provides a good excuse to add enjoyable action to the movie.

Absolutely stunning western with an all star cast.

However, violence and conflicts are too exciting in this film.

All in all, the various threads weave into an effective whole, while cast and visuals add up to a highly entertaining package, despite the lengthy run-time.

This movie suffers only from having the color being a little washed out in some scenes, and from a slow and somewhat sweet (not quite syrupy) beginning.

Carol Baker and Jean Simmons are luminous, compelling, and strangely powerful.

Shot in remote areas of California and running 2 hours and 46 minutes, "The Big Country" is engrossing from beginning to end.

The scenery is breathtaking.

Impressively photographed, and with some very effective moments (both dramatic and humorous), but too often plodding.

Also, the settings are breathtaking, and the score is rousing.

Both the characters and the plot take unexpected turns, which I will leave unexplained here so you can discover them for yourself.

But, when all is said and done, the human element provides no more than a hook on which to hang Jerome Moross' magnificent theme and score, and the stunning sight of The Big Country.

Preaching Peace, but gripping when fists or bullets flying .

Besides a great story, the movie has everything else a good Western should have: magnificent scenery, one of the most rousing scores ever, and a terrific cast.

The Big Yawn .

It's entertaining and well-acted, and you'll want to see what happens next.

On a home widescreen with the volume high, I am sure even compared to todays movies it is entertaining and ageless.

Here's what I liked:Wyler excelled at creating compelling heavies.

And ALFONSO BEDOYA (tbe grinning bandit from TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE)as Ramon, the sometimes dull-witted hired help with his halting English, is excellent.

"The Big Country" is a rousing great western with a fabulous all-star cast.

Jean Simmons was absolutely intriguing.

Well, it's NOT a Clint Eastwood styled "Spagethi western" where the Men with no name shoots bad guys, rather a drama, but quite enjoyable.

Epic , breathtaking Western dealing with feuding families headed by two rival patriarchs cowmen .

The Big Country was passed over by the professional critics as being empty, ernest, and not enough sweep to be called a true epic.

Fortunately, unlike other propaganda pieces "The Big Country" can be thoroughly enjoyed outside any obnoxious political context.

Highlights of "The Big Country" include a fistfight between Gregory Peck and Heston that each refuses to quit and a breathtakingly suspenseful final showdown in a canyon between Ives and arch rival Charles Bickford set to more of that pulsing, vibrant musical score.