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"The Big Country" - {Blu-ray}
John A. Reese
Studio: MGM
Release Date:
November 1, 2011
Special Features:

See Below


The Big Country is certainly an interesting western film. The film is about a retired sea captain, James McKay (Grogory Peck), who is thrust in the middle of a conflict involving land rights. The conflict pits the father of his fiancee, Major Terrill (Charles Bickford), against the head of the less successful and less refined clan, Rufus Hannassey (Burl Ives). Gregory Peck delivers a fine performance here along with the other supporting characters (Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston). However, Ives had the highlight performance in the film and won an Oscar for his role. I like how this movie does not conform to the conventional Western genre. In addition, the score by Jerome Moross is very unique and key to the film. The film is well done and at times it looks excellent, but it is a long film as it clocks in at 165 minutes.

Image & Sound:

The film looks great in high definition because the video has good clarity, precision, and fine details which makes the cinematography look amazing. The audio just has a mono track, so you do not get the total surround sound experience. Nevertheless, the brilliant score is still clear and concise.

Special Features:

The only special feature on this disc is Fun in the Big Country. It is a nice featurette narrated by Jean Simmons, which shows the cast killing time in between takes. Sadly, it is only SD (Standard Definition). There is also a TV Spot and the original theatrical trailer. However, I really do not classify those as "Special Feature" material. Although the trailer is in HD (High Definition).

Final Words:

The movie is an unconventional Western, which makes it stand out from other Westerns. The performances, musical score, and beautiful cinematography make it an enjoyable film. However, the long run time will test your patience. If you enjoy Westerns then you will enjoy this one. It's a good deal at $10.99, so if you are a fan of the movie it is worth the upgrade to Blu-ray.


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