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It's a Big Country: An American Anthology (1951)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama | 20 November 1951 (USA)
The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables... See full summary »

Writers:

(story for picture), (screenplay: episode one) | 11 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan
...
Sgt. Maxie Klein
...
Texas
...
Miss Coleman (as Nancy Davis)
...
Rev. Adam Burch
...
Icarus Xenophon
...
Rosa Szabo Xenophon
...
Mrs. Wrenley
...
Joe Esposito
...
Mr. Callaghan
...
Professor
...
Stefan Szabo
...
Church sexton
...
Mr. Stacey
...
Michael Fisher
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Storyline

The story, told in eight episodes, covers different facets of the American Spirit, from racial and religious tolerance to the dangers of self-centeredness and myopic reasoning. The parables represent a broad cross-section of the American experience: the elderly woman whose pride is injured when she's forgotten in the latest census; the novice minister more pleased with the sound of his own voice than with the needs of his congregation; the mother who confronts the illogic of racial intolerance when she meets the best friend of the son she lost to war; and the enigma that is Texas. Episode titles are: 1) Interruptions, Interruptions; 2) Census Taker; 3) Negro Story; 4) Rosika, the Rose; 5) Letter from Korea; 6) Lone Star; (7) Minister in Washington; 8) Four Eyes; a further episode, titled Load, directed by Anthony Mann, with 'Jean Hersholt' (q.v.) and 'Ann Harding' (q.v.), was filmed but deleted. Written by Chris Stone <jstone@bellatlantic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

M-G-M's star-studded spectacle See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 November 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

It's a Big Country  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,013,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film did poorly at the box office, resulting in a loss for MGM of $677,000 ($6.3M in 2016) according to studio records. See more »

Goofs

When the census taker asks Ethel Barrymore her name, she replies "Mrs. Brian Patrick Riordan" and he writes it down. Always with censuses, a woman's given name is entered. See more »

Quotes

Rosa Szabo Xenophon: Marry me? You don't know anything about me.
Icarus Xenophon: You're a girl. You're pretty and you're modest. What else is there to know?
See more »

Connections

Edited into A Letter from a Soldier (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

God Bless America
(uncredited)
Written by Irving Berlin
See more »

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User Reviews

Definitely American
15 June 2008 | by See all my reviews

This par excellence a film only the American could make.I cannot imagine a French,English or Italian director making a movie to glorify his/her country.

Wellmann and co tell us that America is a big country ,with big differences but where everybody has his place in the sun: in the "celebrities" segment,there are plenty of black artists such as Armstrong ,but the civil rights were ignored in 1949.

What saves this naive film containing more finer feelings than a Capra movie,is some kind of humor .Take the first scene on a train and the last sentence of the baffled traveler or the Hungarian daddy who does not want his daughters to marry a Greek,cause we are "enemies" .How great the melting pot is!And so are Gene Kelly and Janet Leigh.

Some stars only appear a few minutes:Gary Cooper tells us what a wonderful state "Lone Star" Texas is where oil spurts out everywhere under your feet;Ethel Barrymore plays a delightful old lady who is cross cause she was not counted when they took a census of the population.

The last sketch ,about glasses ,was perhaps not a very good choice to conclude the movie.

It was,is and will always be a big country.


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