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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a full length version
Despite what a previous reviewer said this is a full length version. The running time is 160 minutes which is slightly shorter than the NTSC version because of PAL conversion, nothing is cut from this film. Perhaps people could see the film before reviewing it.
The mistake was made because the original packaging said 95 minutes, this mistake is repeated on the Amazon...
Published on 9 Nov 2004 by MentalLentil

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Check aspect ration before buying
I'll be purchasing this as soon as I hear that this is a new transfer to Blu ray, correcting the grievous erro which makes the US Region A Blu ray virtually unwatcheable.
The US Blu ray has been transferred at the wrong aspect ration, so that all the figures are stretched sideways, making everyone verge on the obese .. which is, I suppose the look of today...
Published 6 months ago by Anthony Clarke


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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a full length version, 9 Nov 2004
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This review is from: The Big Country [DVD] (DVD)
Despite what a previous reviewer said this is a full length version. The running time is 160 minutes which is slightly shorter than the NTSC version because of PAL conversion, nothing is cut from this film. Perhaps people could see the film before reviewing it.
The mistake was made because the original packaging said 95 minutes, this mistake is repeated on the Amazon listing (and most others).
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Atticus Finch goes West, 22 Jun 2004
This review is from: The Big Country [DVD] (DVD)
This is a sprawling, glorious saga that will be appreciated by people who don't even like the Western genre. With fabulous cinematography, an excellent script, and two of my favorite actors, it's a film I never tire of watching.
Gregory Peck is the sea captain with principles who goes west to meet his future bride, only to find feuds and fighting, and some lawless varmints who need his "non violent" ways of resolving territorial issues. He is terrific as James McKay, who is sort of an Atticus Finch in boots, and looks mighty fine as well.
Charlton Heston has the smaller part as Leech, a foreman who is seething with jealousy and obeys the orders of his unscrupulous boss (rancher Terrill, played with subtle menace by Charles Bickford) as he yearns for his daughter. Heston is brilliant as this rather complex character, and would a year later star in director William Wyler's next epic, "Ben Hur", which is perhaps my all-time most viewed and enjoyed film.
Both female leads are wonderful, and are portrayed with enormous strength; Jean Simmons, with her luminous eyes is the schoolteacher, and Carroll Baker is the tough daughter of rancher Bickford, and is too much like her daddy to make a suitable bride for Peck.
Among the many strong performances in the supporting parts are Burl Ives, and received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his gnarly old Rufus, Chuck Connors is his bad to the bone son, and Alfonso Bedoya, is a delight as Ramon, who along with a horse named "Old Thunder", provides some of the humor in the film.
The score by Jerome Moross is lovely (and received an Oscar nomination) and the cinematography by Franz Planner spectacular. The film was shot in the Yuba and San Joaquin Counties in California, as well as canyon country in Chinly, Arizona, and it is breathtakingly beautiful.
If you like a good screen fight like I do, this has a great one, "mano a mano" between Peck and Heston; it initially has no music, just the pounding of the fists and the men gasping for breath, and is very effective.
Romance, drama, and lots of action make this a film that appeals to many, and is suitable for the whole family.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Country- Blu ray US import, 7 Jan 2013
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Firstly, this US import Blu ray plays in the UK, I mention this as it is not clear on the UK Amazon listing that this disc is region free or at least playable in Europe.
The Big Country is an intelligent Western and when I first saw it way back in the late sixties I was too young to fully appreciate its maturity. I remember of course the rousing score by Jerome Morross and the vast landscapes. To view it again on my 42in LG tv in splendid Blu ray has been magical. NOTE: Do not be disappointed during the opening titles, for some reason these images have not been Blu ray'd, I dont know why. This does not spoil the experience when the majestic theme music sounds as beautiful as ever accompanying the thundering stagecoach.
When we then see the very first scene of the movie, the tiny town, the splendour of the Blu ray kicks in with sharp, dynamic colour and contrast. From then on the blu ray version is a visual feast. The Big country landscapes become even bigger and the larger your screen the more amazing it will look.
I refer you to other reviews and wikipedia for the plot.
The Big country is for me quite out on its own in the way it interprets a story of the American West in the 19th century.
It considers the struggles and dilemmas to maintain some integrity, morality and justice facing those settling in this huge expanse. It reveals alot of the personality of each of its main characters gradually and cleverly. Romance is very realistically handled as is the true value of love. Pride and honour eventually determine it's outcome. A destiny the viewer eventually realises was sadly the only fate deserved.
It really is unique in its genre due to how it drip feeds the viewer its engrossing saga. Even for those who may not grasp this aspect too well, the Big country is a wonderful cinematic sight, it is amongst a few movies which display brilliantly and conclusively the real meaning of the 'big screen', sweeping to its full width and depth the awesome panoramas of open country, their splendour ever present in a very big story. Enjoy, and make it Blu ray, you will be in the cinema!!!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Country - an overlooked classic, 8 Jun 2007
By 
steveacoustic (Norwich, Norfolk, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Big Country [DVD] (DVD)
This is an unreservedly great film, in so many respects. Previous reviewers have made good points about it that need no repetition from me. What intrigues me is that The Big Country is a neglected piece of cinema (I think the Radio Times Film Guide makes this very point). It shows what an astonishingly good actor the late Gregory Peck was, a master of quiet understatement and dignity. I believe he was a co-producer of the movie, so it was something of a labour of love. Whether you view it as an allegory of the Cold War, i.e. the pointlessly destructive head-to-head belligerence of two giant opponents, or you see it as a a cracking good western, you can't be disappointed. I think what intrigues and impresses me above all is that the style of the film doesn't date at all. It looks as if it could have been made last year, not nearly fifty years ago, and in fact looks better than slightly later Western classics such as The Magnificent Seven. It just has a fresh feel about it and is one of very few films that I could watch over and over again (if I had the time..!|). There is subtlety and nuance in every frame and the pace doesn't flag. The plot is clever and not stereotyped. Oh yes, and Jerome Moross' fabulous music score is unforgettable. And the cinematography. Oh well, everything about it really. Fantastic film. Watch. Enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended!, 30 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Big Country [Blu-ray] [1958] (Blu-ray)
I am happy to report that the new region-free Blu-ray version has just been released in the UK. It is a treat, with superb video, excellent resolution and wonderful sound quality, albeit somewhat attenuated. I just turned up the volume. There is no evidence of the reported aspect ratio problem with the imported US version. A classic film with which every western fan will be familiar. Highly recommended!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-ray details, 30 Aug 2011
-> BLU RAY

Very solid picture+sound. Original aspect ratio.
Recommended!

Film: 8/10
Picture quality 8.5/10
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 orig.
Run time (24 fps): 2 46'54''
Chpt.: 17
Audio: Engl. HD MA
ST: GB;E;F;D;I ; o/-
RC B
Bonus: Making of, Trailer, TV spot
Studio: 2oth Century Fox/MGM
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a Revelation, 12 Mar 2013
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If you like the film, this is a must. Not perfect owing to some flicker on a small number of bright background scenes but a revelation of detail and overall picture quality compared to the DVD.

Enjoy if you buy it
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Big Country DVD, 24 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Big Country [DVD] (DVD)
One of the most memorable western movies I've seen especially on its release in London in real cinemas so long ago. This is a BIG film, a BIG story line with great actors and a soundtrack to die for which was consistently played on the radio of the day. Wholly enjoyable for its confidence, style, and exciting centrepieces. Why then........when so many inferior movies have been cleaned up, with digitalised images and soundtracks, is this DVD still available only in mono soundtrack and poorly defined images? It does it a great injustice. If ever a western needed a precise digitalised image and soundtrack this is it. William Wyler, Greg Peck, Jean Simmons, Chuck Connors and Chuck Heston deserve the very best of technical knowhow, and this isn't it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the big country., 13 Sep 2011
By 
C. Loake "CL" (ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Big Country [DVD] (DVD)
probably one of the greatest westerns (if not films) made. thoroughly enjoyed watching it (ive seen this 30 times at least) and there was a good leaflet included too which gave details on the story, and locations etc etc.

gregory peck is at his best in this playing jim mckay travelling hundreds of miles for the love of his life, pat terril, only to find things including his perfect romance are not what they seem. Burl Ives steals it for me though playing Mr Hennassy, his gatecrashing of jim and pats engagement party, was a great scene.

The rivallry between the terril family and henassys is very entertaining, and if like me you change your mind over who's side your're on. great acting, plenty of romance, drama and action, if anyone has not seen this film before, then watch it now!! its a classic. !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Don't you care what people think of you?" "I'm not responsible for what people think - only for what I am.", 24 Jan 2014
By 
Maciej "Darth Maciek" (Darth Maciek is out there...) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Big Country [DVD] (DVD)
This is a great western classic, dealing with things not usually associated with those films - non-violence and pacifism. Below, more of my impressions, with some SPOILERS.

Wealthy, cultured and still young, but already quite experienced New England sea captain James McKay (Gregory Peck) gets engaged to Patricia Terrill (Carroll Baker), daughter of a very rich cattle baron, Major Henry Terrill (Charles Bickford). As his future wife desires to live in the West rather than on the coast, he retires and follows her to her father's large domain. There however he learns about some things he completely ignored, the most important of which is the deadly feud existing since a long time between Major Terrill and Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives), the tyrannical patriarch of a poorer ranching clan. He also realises that there is history between Steve Leech (Charlton Heston), Terrill's foreman and Patricia... And then, last but not least, he discovers the existence of Julie Maragon (Jean Simmons), Patricia's best friend, who works as schoolteacher but also owns the "Big Muddy", a ranch with a vital water supply situated exactly between territories of both feuding clans... All that is just the beginning of this 160 minutes long film.

The core element of the film is the cultural shock and even confrontation between McKay, who is very reluctant to engage in violence, even verbal and almost everybody else (Patricia included), who are used to tougher ways of the West. Quite quickly McKay starts to be considered as a whimp and coward by most of people, including even his fiancée... In fact, he is neither - he actually can hit very hard when he really wants it - but for some reason he willingly enters the game, hides his tougher side and even on purpose reinforces the general negative impression about him.

I must say that even if I always liked this film a lot, the character of McKay, well, I am really of two minds about him. On one side I can understand that he is willing to let other people assume the worst about him to check exactly how strong is the love of future wife for him - will she stand by him to the end through thick and thin, even if he disappoints her, or will she not? On another hand, this game he plays with his fiancée is a cruel and mean one - and I had the impression that his meeting with Julie Maragon and Steve Leech immediately after arriving to town, was the REAL actual reason why he started to play this game at all... James McKay is clearly an equivocal character, not so much an angel as one could believe in the beginning...

The subject of pacifism and non-violent resolution of conflicts was actually more frequently treated in westerns than one could expect. "High Noon" certainly included strong such accents, as did "Angel and the Bad Man", "Friendly Persuasion" and "Shenandoah" - but it is in "Big Country" that the condemnation of violence as way of solving problems is the strongest. In fact, at the very end of the film I had the impression that the message was pressed into publics throat even maybe just TOO forcibly...

I must also say that the main bad guy in this film, Buck Hannassey (Chuck Connors), is clearly a caricature. The writer and the director put into him every single bad thing they could find, without giving him even one ounce of any redeeming traits - and that is really never a good decision.

But all those points notwithstanding, this is a great film, with great performance by all actors, with special praise to Burl Ives who actually (very deservedly) won the Oscar of Best Supporting Actor for his role. Dialogs are good, characters are mostly well developed, there is some humour (always exactly at the right moment), the two leading (and competing) ladies are a delight for eyes and there is also one MONUMENTAL fist fight in form of shock of two titans of Hollywood...))) As for the music, well the "Big Country" score is already a LEGEND!

This film definitely deserves to be bought, watched and kept for your children. Enjoy!
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The Big Country [Blu-ray] [1958]
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