The Big Country is a 1958 American Technicolor epic Western film directed by William Wyler and starring Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston and Burl Ives filmed in Technirama. The supporting cast features Charles Bickford and Chuck Connors. The picture was based on the serialized magazine novel Ambush at Blanco Canyon by Donald Hamilton and was co-produced by Wyler and Peck. The opening title sequence was created by Saul Bass. The film is one of very few in which Heston plays a major supporting role instead of the lead.
Ives won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his performance, as well as the Golden Globe Award. The film was also nominated for an Academy Award for the musical score, composed by Jerome Moross.
- This is an epic sort of Western. The story as big as the country.
- The theme is anti-violence. In some Westerns, violence seems required as in Shane. In this movie, violence is futile, and often violent scenes are shot from a distance to show the participants as insignificant.
- The story is about a feud, and it is about water rights.
- Gregory Peck in the man out of place in the west, but he has the moral center.
- The photography and scenery are superb.