6.3/10
443
7 user 4 critic

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 »
Reviews

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Drum Beat (1954)
Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In 1872, Indian fighter Johnny MacKay is appointed peace commissioner for the California and Oregon territory but he faces tough opposition from the renegade Modocs led by their chief Captain Jack.

Director: Delmer Daves
Stars: Alan Ladd, Audrey Dalton, Marisa Pavan
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Feud between ranchers and lumberjacks over the issue of environment protection versus profits.

Director: Robert D. Webb
Stars: Alan Ladd, Jeanne Crain, Gilbert Roland
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A Confederate veteran living in the Yankee North struggles with his son's shock induced muteness and the hate of the Northerners.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Alan Ladd, Olivia de Havilland, Dean Jagger
Certificate: Passed Action | Adventure | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The life of nineteenth-century pioneer Jim Bowie is portrayed.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Alan Ladd, Virginia Mayo, Joseph Calleia
Fort Dobbs (1958)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Eluding a sheriff's posse, an escaped man saves a farming family from a Comanche attack and escorts it to the nearby Fort Dobbs.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Clint Walker, Virginia Mayo, Brian Keith
Santiago (1956)
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A gun runner, dishonorably discharged from the military, is swept deeper into a revolution in Cuba when he crosses paths with an enemy from the past and a beautiful revolutionary and her son.

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Alan Ladd, Rossana Podestà, Lloyd Nolan
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Marshal Cass Silver has to deal with his old nemesis, a corrupt gambler, and his hired guns come to town as well as recurring bouts of blindness.

Director: Robert D. Webb
Stars: Robert Ryan, Virginia Mayo, Jeffrey Hunter
Arrowhead (1953)
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Chief of Scouts Ed Bannon works for the US Army at Fort Clark, Texas and he dreams of aiding in bringing peace to the region, despite opposition from both the Army and the Apaches.

Director: Charles Marquis Warren
Stars: Charlton Heston, Jack Palance, Katy Jurado
Pony Express (1953)
History | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Buffalo Bill and Wild Bill Hickock work to establish the Pony Express and fight Indians and California Separatists who seek to destroy it.

Director: Jerry Hopper
Stars: Charlton Heston, Rhonda Fleming, Jan Sterling
Action | Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The true WWII story of Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in U.S. history. Based on the autobiography of Audie Murphy who stars as himself in the film.

Director: Jesse Hibbs
Stars: Audie Murphy, Marshall Thompson, Charles Drake
The Last Hunt (1956)
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In 1883 South Dakota, two buffalo hunters start a personal feud over a captured squaw and a stand-off with a Dakota raiding party over some stolen horses.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Robert Taylor, Stewart Granger, Lloyd Nolan
Action | Adventure | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two noble Scottish brothers deliberately take opposite sides when Bonnie Prince Charlie returns to claim the throne of Scotland in order to preserve the family fortune.

Director: William Keighley
Stars: Errol Flynn, Roger Livesey, Anthony Steel
Edit

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:

Vast Excitement Surges Through the Badlands! See more »

Genres:

Romance | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Although shot in academy 1.37:1 aspect ratio (for later television airing) the theatrical -- or *intended* (by the studio, producer, director and/or cinematographer) -- aspect ratio of this film is 1.85:1 widescreen. Most modern 16x9 (1.77:1) televisions have a "zoom to width" picture option, essentially allowing the viewer to see the film as the director and cinematographer originally planned. It is easy to spot films shot this way since all the titles and credits will still fit when properly cropped (they stay in the "middle" of the frame vertically), and there is an unusual amount of "headroom" above the actors in medium and close-up shots when viewed uncropped. Quite often "mistakes" -- like seeing equipment in the top or bottom of the uncropped frame -- would never have been seen by a theater audience. 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: Don't you want a drink?
Joe Jagger: Water? What am I, a trout?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Stage Struck (1958) 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 »

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.


12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 7 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed