Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

I see THE BIG COUNTRY has finally gotten the (quality) rating it deserves


Dargo
 Share

Recommended Posts

Noticed while checking my cable guide today that after so many years of seeing merely a 3-star rating for this western, which has been one of my favorites of this genre since I first caught on ABC's Sunday Night Movie back in the late-'60s, that said guide showed it having FOUR-stars.

Just could never understand that whole "3-star" thing it got for so many years, or why for so many years it seemed it was seldom mentioned whenever the subject of "the greatest westerns ever made" came up in conversations.

(...and besides it having one of THE greatest movie scores ever)

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Dargo said:

Noticed while checking my cable guide today that after so many years of seeing merely a 3-star rating for this western, which has been one of my favorites of this genre since I first caught on ABC's Sunday Night Movie back in the late-'60s, that said guide showed it having FOUR-stars.

(...just could never understand that whole "3-star" thing it got for so many years, or why for so many years it seemed it was seldom mentioned whenever the subject of "the greatest westerns ever made" came up in conversations)

I'm with you, Dargo. I like it a lot, too.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I saw "The Big Country" for the first time this evening and loved it and I agree that it deserves a high rating (although I could be a little bias because I always love films starring Gregory Peck).  The feeling of vast "big" country is really captured in the wide open spaces in the film and the rock formations and canyons in many of the shots are amazing.  It has very memorable theme music that makes you feel like jumping on a horse and riding away.  It's a fun movie to watch.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Cigarjoe cellph said:

It's more like a soap opera western, similar to Duel In The Sun.

 

Yeah, I suppose there are some of those aspects to the film CJ, but not nearly to the extent of Lust in the Dust's.  ;)

And besides and to this argument, I'd say the same thing could be said of Ford's Stagecoach for that matter, and which is a film that almost everyone would say would figure near the top of their top ten best westerns lists 

(...and another "4-star" film by any measure)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love The Big Country, not only for its intelligent performances and epic size but that great Jerome Moross musical score.

However, it's a western with a pacifist message, not cool for many western fans who like to see action and shoot 'em ups, often along with macho heroics.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes Dargo ! My all time favorite western and so different... Peck and Wyler had many problems together,one of them is the lack of apparent cattle,At one point Ramon mentions10-30000 but all we see is a few ones here and there in a far away distance,the Hennessey' s  cattle was visible but not on the Terrell's . Still it is my favorite,one of the few films i rewatch,again last night.This is the first film i wanted to buy the soundtrack(it was scarce) and i was not into that type of music at all ! All the cast is great, Heston as  a villain is a rare treat.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is a film I still haven't seen.

Sometimes I keep missing a classic, waiting for the right time for it to find me.

That hasn't happened yet with THE BIG COUNTRY.

But I am glad others are so enthralled with it. So when I eventually do get around to watching it, I probably won't be disappointed.

Speaking of westerns with soapy themes, I'd say THE FURIES (1950) is one of them. As well as BROKEN LANCE (1954).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Big Country has always been one of my favorite westerns. Wonderful cast and the Jerome Moross score is a favorite. So much so that I sometimes humm parts of it. I love this film, have seen it many times over the years and I'm never bored or tired of seeing it. Besides all the great performances by everyone, the film shows us how good  an actor Chuck Connors was and especially his range as an actor. An example of this would be his performance in The Big Country and as Lucas McCain in The Rifleman. He's the cowardly, miserable, unlikeable son in The Big Country and in the same year filming his role as the upstanding, understanding, very moral and likeable dad Lucas McCain in The Rifleman. That puts him  on the same list as the top notch actors in this teriffic film.

 I agree dargo, The Big Country deserves that 4 Star rating.

editred by me

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TomJH said:

I love The Big Country, not only for its intelligent performances and epic size but that great Jerome Moross musical score.

However, it's a western with a pacifist message, not cool for many western fans who like to see action and shoot 'em ups, often along with macho heroics.

THE BIG COUNTRY is a great film, and I love the fact that even though it takes place in western times, its message is one of pacifism. 

And of course you have Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Burl Ives, Chuck Connors in here.....what a cast!

Just got the DVD a few days ago, I have to watch it real soon.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

THE BIG COUNTRY is a great film, and I love the fact that even though it takes place in western times, its message is one of pacifism. 

And of course you have Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Burl Ives, Chuck Connors in here.....what a cast!

Just got the DVD a few days ago, I have to watch it real soon.

I don't know if hardcore western buffs (the ones into Wayne, Eastwood, etc.) have as high an opinion of this film as expressed by many posters here. Again, I suspect the pacifist message and relative lack of action may be a problem for them. Having said that, it's no issue for me.

This is more of a "thinking man's" western, a large part of its appeal for me, while maybe less so for some others.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot to mention about the music,Wyler wanted to remove the soundtrack and commissonned another one,he did not like it....Peck stood by it,there was so many clashes between them .Wyler was asking so many retakes he had problems with all the actors and many refused to talk about it or him for years..Peck could and maybe should have directed the film,he was the producer on record with Anthony Productions on the copyright then.I will have to read my new hc bio on Wyler and revisit my other one titled  A Talent for Trouble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, TopBilled said:

This is a film I still haven't seen.

Sometimes I keep missing a classic, waiting for the right time for it to find me.

That hasn't happened yet with THE BIG COUNTRY.

But I am glad others are so enthralled with it. So when I eventually do get around to watching it, I probably won't be disappointed.

Speaking of westerns with soapy themes, I'd say THE FURIES (1950) is one of them. As well as BROKEN LANCE (1954).

THE BIG COUNTRY has great performances in it, but I can't say it's a favorite (though BURL is always a pleasure - particularly as a villain).   THE FURIES is like a Noir Western.  I own the DVD. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

THE BIG COUNTRY has great performances in it, but I can't say it's a favorite (though BURL is always a pleasure - particularly as a villain).   THE FURIES is like a Noir Western.  I own the DVD. 

If you enjoy Burl Ives as a villain in a western, check out DAY OF THE OUTLAW (1959).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, TopBilled said:

If you enjoy Burl Ives as a villain in a western, check out DAY OF THE OUTLAW (1959).

Oh yes, he was definitely an enjoyable baddie in that one.

I suspect Ives' Best Supporting Actor Oscar for THE BIG COUNTRY was just as much as for CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, which was released that same year.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I doan like it. obviously Burl Ives' Hennessey is the aggrieved party but the film muddies the water with connors being a low-down killer beshmirching Hennessey's case for fairness. I like peck's mckay but his making a point of not riding the horse weakens the movie. the viewer feels cheated by diane baker never really getting her comeuppance, Heston is wasted imo and why does he resigm himself so meekly to his girl marrying mckay? mckay initially respects Hennessey and I think a better dramatic turn woulda been mckay successfully convincing Hennessey that he was now the owner of big muddy.

Heston shoulda beaten the crap out of Bickford and jean simmons beaten the crap out of baker then you woulda had a superior western.

jerome moross' best music is his theme to Lancer.

:)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, TomJH said:

I don't know if hardcore western buffs (the ones into Wayne, Eastwood, etc.) have as high an opinion of this film as expressed by many posters here.

This is more of a "thinking man's" western, a large part of its appeal for me, while maybe less so for some others.

Nipkow said: I doan like it . . .

Heston shoulda beaten the crap out of Bickford and jean simmons beaten the crap out of baker then you woulda had a superior western.

John Wayne Punch GIF - John Wayne Punch Super Punch - Discover & Share GIFs

As I was saying , a little more of this in The Big Country and the Nipkow Discs of the world would be happy.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

I doan like it. obviously Burl Ives' Hennessey is the aggrieved party but the film muddies the water with connors being a low-down killer beshmirching Hennessey's case for fairness. the viewer feels cheated by diane baker never really getting her comeuppance, Heston is wasted imo and why does he resigm himself so meekly to his girl marrying mckay? mckay initially respects Hennessey and I think a better dramatic turn woulda been mckay successfully convincing Hennessey that he was now the owner of big muddy.

Heston shoulda beaten the crap out of Bickford and jean simmons beaten the crap out of baker then you woulda had a superior western.

jerome moross' best music is his theme to Lancer.

:)

 

Nip, you ol' cowpuncher you, while I completely understand the concept of opinions being a subjective thing, I ALSO have to say that almost ALL your above observations which have apparently lead to this/these opinion(s) of yours about The Big Country are...well...WRONG! Yep, cowboy...WRONG! And so, lets take a look at each of them separately here:

1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

obviously Burl Ives' Hennessey is the aggrieved party but the film muddies the water with connors being a low-down killer beshmirching Hennessey's case for fairness.

Nope, one of the things the MAKE Burl Ives' character more than just a two-dimensional one (and maybe why he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar) is  when the chips are down, he STILL shows his character believing strongly in the concept of fairness, and does this by shooting down his own lowsome son (Connors).

1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

I like peck's mckay but his making a point of not riding the horse weakens the movie.

Nope again, as by not at first riding the bronco sets in motion the thought that McKay is a man so secure in himself, that he never feels the need to prove anything to any others.

1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

the viewer feels cheated by diane baker never really getting her comeuppance,

So, not ending up with the man she loved (McKay) because of her childish ways  AND losing her idolized father isn't "comeuppance" enough for you?!

1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

Heston is wasted imo and why does he resigm himself so meekly to his girl marrying mckay?

Heston does almost everything a guy can do to show up Peck's McKay in the eyes of Carroll Baker, up to and including challenging McKay to a fist fight. Heston ALSO at one point grabs and almost physically assaults her in his fustrations.

1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

mckay initially respects Hennessey and I think a better dramatic turn woulda been mckay successfully convincing Hennessey that he was now the owner of big muddy.

Uh-huh, and so THEN how would we get to the both the duel between Peck and Connors, and then the final showdown between the two patriachs in the canyon, HUH?! 

1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

Heston shoulda beaten the crap out of Bickford and jean simmons beaten the crap out of baker then you woulda had a superior western.

Heston's Steve Leech being one of those types who values loyalty above all else and even above what is right and proper (and something I've always felt YOU especially might understand) would never in a million years beat the crap out of a man he's always felt was his superior, and to say nothing about Bickford being his boss. And Jean Simmons' character being the learned woman that she was, would even think of striking the spoiled brat that Baker played, and besides something such as that making Simmons' character look less than the learned and classy woman that she was.

And finally:

1 hour ago, NipkowDisc said:

jerome moross' best music is his theme to Lancer.

Sorry cowpoke, but these two music themes sound little if ANY alike. And in this I now ask you, where is the sound of that stirring string movement at the beginning of this Lancer theme?

(...and to say nothing about an almost completely different basic melody between the two, too!)

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And btw, and seein' as how THIS cowpoke HERE appears to be on a roll here...

12 hours ago, TomJH said:

I don't know if hardcore western buffs (the ones into Wayne, Eastwood, etc.) have as high an opinion of this film as expressed by many posters here. Again, I suspect the pacifist message and relative lack of action may be a problem for them. Having said that, it's no issue for me.

This is more of a "thinking man's" western, a large part of its appeal for me, while maybe less so for some others.

...sorry Tom (yeah yeah, I know, as that first actor you mentioned here once said in that Yellow Ribbon flick, "Never apolozige, Mister. It's the sign of weakness"...BUT seein' as how I've always thought THAT kind'a thought was nothin' but a big pile of cow dung...and so as I was sayin' here, sorry  ;) ) but while I think your idea that because some people might THINK of The Big Country has some sort of "pacifist message" contained within it and thus might be the reason SOME people might consider its narrative contrary to what is "supposed of" most classic westerns, don't forget here that when the chips are down, Greg Peck's McKay was NOT adverse to throwing his fists at both Heston and Connors, and even facing down Connors with that dueling pistol in his hand.

And so, I've never thought of Peck's McKay as being a "pacifist" at all nor that this film presses such a message.

(...nope, but MORE the message that McKay was a "thinking man" and thus was smart enough to know when and where to pick his fights and/or accept the challenge to them)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nip, you wrote " the viewer feels cheated by diane baker never really getting her comeuppance." 

She certainly does get her "comeuppance"

Nip -That's Carroll Baker NOT Diane Baker LOL
They look nothing alike. If you're going to try to make a point at least get the  names right. She ( Pat) played by Carroll Baker, suffers in the end because the one man she loved, her father ( Terrell) is killed. Her character now has no one, she's lost her best friend Julie who will now be with McKay, her father is dead and Leech most likely doesn't love her anymore after everything that has happened.  Even if Leech stays out of loyalty that he had for Terrell, she doesn't even like him, much less love him and could never love a ranch hand. .All she has left now is the ranch and she winds up alone. I'd say that's a good dose of "comeuppance"

I don't feel cheated at all, great ending to a great film.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

© 2023 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...