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The Big Land (1957)

Approved | | Romance, Western | July 1957 (Austria)
Alan Ladd stars as a Kansas cattle rancher battling the elements and corrupt cattle buyers to build a railroad spur to the Rio Grande just after the United States' Civil War.

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Frank Gruber (novel), David Dortort (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Alan Ladd ... Chad Morgan
Virginia Mayo ... Helen Jagger
Edmond O'Brien ... Joe Jagger
Anthony Caruso ... Brog
Julie Bishop ... Kate Johnson
John Qualen ... Sven Johnson
Don Castle ... Tom Draper
David Ladd ... David Johnson
Jack Wrather Jr. Jack Wrather Jr. ... Olaf Johnson
George J. Lewis ... Dawson
James Anderson ... Bob Cole
Don Kelly ... Billy Tyler
Charles Watts Charles Watts ... Dick McCullough
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Storyline

After the Civil War, bitterness remained between Southerners and Northerners. In order to supply eastern cities with beef, former Confederates from Texas drove their herds to the rail-heads in Missouri. After a long and hard cattle drive through the Bad Lands, former Confederate officer Chad Morgan and his partners arrive at a rail-head in Missouri where corrupt cattle buyer Brog and his gunfighter partner offer to purchase the Texans' herds for a pitiful sum. Brog knows the cattle are weakened by the long drive from Texas and cannot survive a return drive to Texas. He also knows the Texans are desperate to sell for any amount of money they can settle for. After selling their herds to crooked buyer Brog, the Texans blame their partner Chad Morgan for their misfortune. It was Chad who suggested they sell their herds in Missouri. Heartbroken, Chad splits with his partners. On a rainy night, Chad is refused lodging by embittered Northerners who still see him as a Confederate enemy. He ... Written by nufs68

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The big land was the big gamble ... They staked their gold, their women, and their lives ! See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

July 1957 (Austria) See more »

Also Known As:

Buffalo Grass See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Jaguar Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (WarnerColor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of Julie Bishop. See more »

Goofs

At the dinner table, David takes the napkin off of his plate twice after his father Sven finishes saying grace. See more »

Quotes

Chad Morgan: What's the matter?
Joe Jagger: I've been eating so much rabbit, when I sleep at night, I keep dreaming about carrots.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Zoku zûzûshii yatsu (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

I LEANED ON A MAN
Written by Leonard Rosenman and Wayne Shanklin
Sung by Bonnie Lou Williams (uncredited) dubbing for Virginia Mayo
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Why,........."Cause the East Needs Beef."
25 November 2006 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Big Land is a western that has Alan Ladd as a war weary Civil War veteran who wants to go into the cattle business. He's had enough of killing over five years, but in the end Ladd has to let his skill with a gun settle the usual problems of the frontier.

Anthony Caruso, a good friend of Ladd's in real life, has control of the rail shipping head where the Texas cattle arrive to be sent to the slaughterhouses in the east and he's not letting go. Of course the thing to do would be to just have it out right then and there with Caruso. But Ladd's had enough of killing from the Civil War and besides there would be no picture.

He persuades a group of settlers to found an incorporate a town where the railroad will eventually be coming to. Designing and planning the town is a dissolute architect played by Edmond O'Brien. O'Brien's got a pretty sister in Virginia Mayo which is another reason Ladd stays interested and around.

The thing I most remember about The Big Land is that constant repetition of the phrase, "the east needs beef." It's the reason Ladd, O'Brien, Mayo, are doing all that they are and enduring all the hardships. It's almost like no one will have a protein component in their diet unless Alan Ladd accomplishes what he sets out to do. It seemed to be a bit silly at times.

There's enough action though for any good western fan to overcome a rather trite story. American viewers would soon be seeing all about cattle drives in the western television series Rawhide. And on the silver screen, cattle drives were the background for much better films like John Wayne's Red River.


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