Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.
Retired, wealthy sea Captain James 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 land 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.Written by
E.W. DesMarais <firstname.lastname@example.org>
According to Gregory Peck, after using seven writers, he and William Wyler remained dissatisfied with the script, but financial commitments forced them to proceed with the production. See more »
When Steve Leech (Charlton Heston) starts out to catch the major, the sky is deep blue and clear, but when he catches him just seconds later, it's a cloudy sky. Steve's bandana is also tied differently. Clearly the scene was shot in more than one take. See more »
I love movies, and this is as close to perfect, as it gets. First of all can, you imagine a movie with such a cast. Heston, Peck, Ives, Bickford, Connor, Baker, and Jean Simmons ( one of my favorite actors ). Throw in the scenery, the incredible musical score, and a plot with romance, and minimal violence, and you have a classic. On a home widescreen with the volume high, I am sure even compared to todays movies it is entertaining and ageless. As a footnote, I saw this movie years ago and it stuck in my mind. One day while listening to CBC radio on a call in request segment someone called in and asked for the theme from Big Country. It stirred me to track down a copy of the movie. I also like the story about Heston thinking of turning it down ( An Actor's Life ) since his part was secondary. His agent said are you nuts to turn down Willy Wyler. This movie led Wyler to cast him in Ben Hur.
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