Best Movies by Farr

The Big Country

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What's it About

Former ship captain James McKay (Peck) heads to the western frontier to join fiancée Pat Terrill (Baker), daughter of cattleman Major Henry Terrill (Bickford). Though McKay anticipates the wilder, rougher ways of the West, he gets more than he bargained for on his arrival, discovering his future father-in-law is in a nasty feud with competing rancher Rufus Hannassey (Ives), and that he himself is competing with Terrill's right hand man Steve Leech (Heston) for the affections of his intended.

Why we love it

William Wyler's sprawling Western epic is aptly named, since everything about this film is big — including breathtaking panoramas, a close to three-hour run time, and a larger-than-life, Oscar-winning performance from singer/actor Burl Ives as a rough-hewn rancher. It feels a trifle leisurely at first, but hold on and you'll soon be in the grip of this sweeping epic, which offers plentiful doses of romance, suspense, and high emotion. A stolid Peck carries the picture throughout. Also look for TV's Chuck Connors ("The Rifleman," "Branded") in a juicy role as Ives's ne'er-do-well son Buck.

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The Big Heat

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"