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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2011 4:59 pm 
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Prince Judah
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There's a good write-up of THE BIG COUNTRY at Movie Fanfare.com: THE BIG COUNTRY at MOVIE FANFARE.COM
Image Image
The writer goes into some of the history and behind-the-scenes (problems), which most members here are probably aware of, but there may be some information of interest. There's also a favorable critique of the story:
Quote:
The film certainly isn’t lacking in more typical Western action; alongside McKay’s personal conflict is the vicious feud between Maj. Terrill and Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives). Ostensibly over water rights to the Big Muddy, their fight is simply ego-fueled and petty, resembling class warfare between the haves and have-nots. By all outward appearances Terrill is an outstanding citizen, but Hannassey reminds him that it takes more than money and manners to make a gentleman.

However, this is no "horse opera," and the second thing that sets this story apart is the multi-layered love interests. School teacher Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons), friend of Pat and owner of the Big Muddy, fends off the unwanted advances of Hannassey’s shiftless eldest son Buck (Chuck Connors). Ranch foreman Steve Leech (Charlton Heston) is not pleased at the arrival of McKay, desiring Pat for himself. And there is the growing mutual admiration between Julie and McKay which ultimately causes him to risk his life to save her
.

Quote:
Wyler’s use of cinematography and Jerome Moross’ Oscar-nominated score elevate the film above the typical Western. Wyler had just finished the anti-war Friendly Persuasion (1956) in which violent conflict is portrayed as something to be avoided but sometimes necessary. The Big Country goes one step further by portraying conflict as ultimately pointless. Wyler’s use of long shots and muffled sound during the fight between McKay and Leech as well as the final showdown between Terrill and Hannassey illustrates the insignificance of human conflict against the greater landscape. It is, after all, a big country -- the petty feuds between men mean little in the wider scheme


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:28 pm 
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Michelangelo

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:11 pm
Posts: 670
I just noticed the following acticle about 'the Big Country'!

Making The Big Country
Posted November 22, 2011 04:30 PM by Robert Siegel

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=7760
Posters, lobby cards, soundtrack albums, publicity materials and magazines and so on! :applause:

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:cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:13 pm 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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Lots and lots of amazing stuff I've never encountered before.

Love this picture:

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You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:04 pm 
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Prince Judah
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Lovely stuff. I liked Chuck's quote about an actor's 'ego'... yeah right. I agree, and from the little experience I have of acting, script-writing and stage-managing(in my school and college days), I know perfectly well what Chuck meant.

Thanks a lot, Chrysagon and CHfan.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:54 am 
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Prince Judah
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Here is the link to a site which gives a good background story about the making of 'Big Country'.

http://matineeatthebijou.blogspot.com/

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Prince Judah
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This is something I have found out-- you remember the 'fighting' scene between Steeve Leech and Miss Terril? After she strikes him and he grabs and kisses her. Chuck recalled that Wyler secretly told him not to let Carroll Baker go. It was pretty easy for Chuck, if you can remember-- he, at one point, literally holds both her wrists in his left hand only. After multiple takes with bruised wrists, in tears, Baker complained that Chuck would not let her go. “I don’t want him to,” replied Wyler, “I want you to get out of it yourself.”

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:38 pm 
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Michelangelo

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 4:11 pm
Posts: 670
Attention: Heston' fans in the USA.

Next TV airing in the USA:
Sat. Jan. 21 8:00 AM AMC The Big Country
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000032/nowshowing

Probably you need to find out when the airing is at your local area/time.
via http://www.imdb.com/tvgrid/2012-01-22/0730#TCM
:cheers:


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:45 pm 
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Call Me Harry
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Posts: 274
I just sat down and watched this again for the first time in God knows how long (since I rented it from the now defunct Hollywood Video way back when) and never stopped to think about what a good visual contrast Heston is to Gregory Peck. Both were big imposing men who could easily own a scene just by standing there - which is probably why they hired Chuck to make sure that the ranch foreman who begins as a rival but comes to respect the East Coast pacifist would not be overshadowed by him - but where Peck is smooth, stately & refined old Chuck is rugged, rough-hewn and not so refined, even when he dresses nicely for a fancy evening. If Peck were a porsche, Heston would be a pick up truck. If Peck were a 20th/21st century businessman, Heston would be the trucker who makes deliveries to Wal-Mart (where I work) and other such places. It also plays nicely into the class warfare issues that run throughout the film.

Still can't figure out what Chuck's character saw in Carol Baker's Pat though. Sure she was easy on the eyes but surely there were other, less stressful women in the town he could have hooked up with? Was she the only other woman besides Julie that he knew on a first name basis? I can only speculate that maybe they had a fling prior to the events of the story, the way a medieval princess takes advantage of a poor stable boy or a rich girl takes advantage of any random servant, or maybe she teased & led his character on in the past before she moved out East, and now that she's brought Peck's character back with her Chuck feels betrayed or something. Or maybe it was something else, a subconscious desire to be more a part of the family.


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:06 pm 
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Damned Dirty Admin
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EL-CID-1983 wrote:
Still can't figure out what Chuck's character saw in Carol Baker's Pat though. Sure she was easy on the eyes but surely there were other, less stressful women in the town he could have hooked up with? Was she the only other woman besides Julie that he knew on a first name basis? I can only speculate that maybe they had a fling prior to the events of the story, the way a medieval princess takes advantage of a poor stable boy or a rich girl takes advantage of any random servant, or maybe she teased & led his character on in the past before she moved out East, and now that she's brought Peck's character back with her Chuck feels betrayed or something. Or maybe it was something else, a subconscious desire to be more a part of the family.

It could be all those things, but you forgot one: Wanting something/someone you can't have. It's like forbidden fruit.

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You know, McKay, you're a bigger fool than I thought you were. And to tell you the truth, that just didn't seem possible.


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Country
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:26 pm 
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Call Me Harry
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Detective Thorn wrote:
EL-CID-1983 wrote:
Still can't figure out what Chuck's character saw in Carol Baker's Pat though. Sure she was easy on the eyes but surely there were other, less stressful women in the town he could have hooked up with? Was she the only other woman besides Julie that he knew on a first name basis? I can only speculate that maybe they had a fling prior to the events of the story, the way a medieval princess takes advantage of a poor stable boy or a rich girl takes advantage of any random servant, or maybe she teased & led his character on in the past before she moved out East, and now that she's brought Peck's character back with her Chuck feels betrayed or something. Or maybe it was something else, a subconscious desire to be more a part of the family.

It could be all those things, but you forgot one: Wanting something/someone you can't have. It's like forbidden fruit.

Forbidden fruit indeed. But some forbidden fruit just isn't worth the stress.

So what do you think happened to Gregory Peck's Jim McKay character when it was all over? Do you think he stayed in the old west to run his own spread or did he go back east with Julie?


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