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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:
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Sgt. Maxie Klein
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Texas
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Miss Coleman (as Nancy Davis)
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Rev. Adam Burch
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...
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Mrs. Wrenley
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...
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Professor
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Stefan Szabo
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Church sexton
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Mr. Stacey
...
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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:

YOU'RE in this picture with the girl you love - and the kids on the street corner - and the guy next door! 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
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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

 
A cute little rarity
16 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Collection of stories to show the melting pot aspect of the USA. The film is blessed with an array of talent that only could be pulled together in Hollywood at its peak.

Episodic by nature and all the vignettes have their charm but the first three are really the best.

William Powell and James Whitmore breeze their way through a lively discussion of the ever evolving nature of the country. Their reactions to each other are what makes the skit.

Next up is a little story about not being lost in the crowd made charming by Ethel Barrymore's gentle performance.

The next segment is a tribute to notable African Americans which is nice in and of itself but that's also why it's a bit problematic. Considering the time it was made the isolated state of the short would have made it easy to snip out in the South. Of course the same could be said for any of the stories but since their are not people of color in any of the other segments it's rather obvious that was the intention at the time. Still it's a nice opportunity to see the significant Americans it spotlights.

The other sections all showing various slices of life, aside from Gary Cooper's star bit simply representing Texas, are pleasant but are on the sticky side of sweet.


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