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The Big Country [Blu-ray]

1,001 customer reviews

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(Nov 01, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

One of Hollywood's greatest directors teams with a cast of incredible screen legends for this bold, sweeping tale of a ship's captain who ventures west to find a hotbed of jealousy, hatred and dangerous rivalries. As the reluctant hero is thrust into the maelstrom, he must summon all of his resolve to save not only his own life, but also the life of the woman he loves. Four-time Academy Awardr Winner William Wyler directs this action-packed adventure that triumphs as "a work of art" (Motion Picture Herald). Starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Chuck Connors and Burl Ives (in an Oscarr-Winning performance), this magnificently entertaining epic will take your breath away with unbridled suspense, exhilarating excitement and explosive drama on a grand scale.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Mono), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: November 1, 2011
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,001 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0052E8XFI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,905 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

164 of 174 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 1, 2003
Format: DVD
What we have here is a blood feud over water rights between two ranching families headed by Major Henry Terrill (Charles Bickford) and Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives), with school teacher Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons) caught in the middle. Directed by William Wyler with stunning cinematography by Franz Planer, we follow a narrative which involves the engagement of Easterner James McKay (Gregory Peck) to Terrill's beloved daughter Pat (Carroll Baker). Frankly, what he sees in her continues to elude my understanding.

Some reviewers have dismissed this as a "B" movie but I do not. The quality of the acting (notably Ives's which earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor) is outstanding. Although in what I guess could be considered a minor role as Steve Leech, Terrill's ramrod, Charlton Heston delivers a remarkably nuanced and controlled performance as does Chuck Connors as Buck Hannassey. This is much less a western than a study of two patriarchs (Terrill and Hannassey) who play a zero sum game to gain control of access to water on which they and their herds obviously depend. But there is something else at work in this great but (for whatever reasons) under appreciated film. Julie Maragon is quite willing to allow both patriarchs access to the water. That is not the core issue: rather, it is the conflict between the inflated egos of two proud and stubborn men who detest each other.

For me, one of the most memorable scenes occurs when, just before dawn, McKay and Leech finally have it out. It is an awkward but inevitable and immensely effective fist fight, with much of it filmed as if we were observing it at a distance. Of course, the fist fight achieves nothing other than demonstrating that McKay is more of a "man" than Leech once thought.
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63 of 69 people found the following review helpful By forrie on March 22, 2002
Format: DVD
MGM's Western Legends Series presents William Wylers (Director of BEN-Hur) 1958 epic western classic "The Big Country". Now on DVD presented in WideScreen and enhanced for WideScreen HDTV's (16:9) format. This DVD is beautifully presented with the huge panoramtic display of "The Big Country".
This western was overshadowed in the late 1950's by the new "Rebel Without A Cause" youth gendre films.
Now we can recapture this 165 minute WideScreen western epic in the home on this fabulous DVD. Perfect script, magnificent photography, superb musical score, masterful direction of William Wyler & a brilliant ensemble cast providing all the elements for a great story. Lead by Gregory Peck - at his best, Jean Simmons - beautiful & intelligent, Charleton Heston - excellent Peck nemesis, Carrol Baker - rich & spoiled, Burl Ives - strong & rough (Oscar Winner - Best Supporting Actor), Chuck Connors - outstanding villian & Charles Bickford - arrogant & vane.
Summary: An Eastern Sea Captain / Dude (Peck) with a high moral code arrives in "The Big Country" to marry spoiled rich girl (Baker). Immediately he discovers he is in the middle of a range & water rights war against two feuding families, the Terrills (Bickford, Baker & hired foreman Heston) vs the Hannasseys (Ives & Connors). A local school teacher (Simmons) holds the deed & control of the water rights in "The Big Country". Who will get control of the water & will Peck be able to maintain his high morale ethical code? We journey throughout this epic western captured in the plot complexity & magnificent scenes discovering these answers & lots more.
A great family film. This is when Hollywood provided us with all the key ingredients for a great story, including the classical happy ending. An epic western you'll enjoy over & over. This DVD has an excellent transfer of sight & sound. The only extra is a trailer. Enjoy.
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97 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on July 28, 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
THE BIG COUNTRY, the rocky collaboration of co-producers William Wyler and Gregory Peck, is a big, expensive deconstruction of the 'classic' western genre and values, placing an Eastern intellectual (Peck) in the midst of them, questioning their validity. The film's sheer size ultimately defeats director Wyler's goal, but what emerges is still a rip-roaring drama, with terrific performances by Oscar-winner Burl Ives, Chuck Connors, Charlton Heston, and Charles Bickford.

Eastern ship captain James McKay (Peck) arrives in a GIANT-like Western town to marry Patricia Terrill (Carroll Baker), whose father (Bickford) is a major landowner in the area. He immediately draws the ire of top hand Steve Leech (Heston) when he refuses to discard an Eastern-style hat (Leech obviously is Patricia's jilted lover, as well, setting the stage for an eventual physical confrontation between the two men). Patricia is beautiful, but shallow and temperamental, unlike her more mature, sensitive friend, schoolteacher Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons), and one wonders what McKay saw in her to make him propose!

En route to the Terrill ranch, McKay and Patricia are intercepted by a wild, acrobatic gang of cowboys, led by Buck Hannassey (Connors), son of the Terrill's mortal enemy and biggest rival, Rufus Hannassey (Ives). After a long chase/trick riding demonstration (punctuated by one of the film's many great musical themes, by composer Jerome Moross), Patricia's venomous reaction to Buck's escapades leads to McKay's being manhandled, roped, and roughed up, a bit. While McKay is forgiving, Col. Terrill (Bickford) uses the incident to invade the Hannassey ranch in force, and then ride into town, pistol-whipping Hannassey men (Buck hides to protect himself).
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The Big Country [Blu-ray]
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