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Big Jim McLain (1952)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, History | 30 August 1952 (USA)
In the post-war Hawaii, House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter hunt down Communists.

Director:

Edward Ludwig

Writers:

Stephen Vincent Benet (quotes from "The Devil And Dan'l Webster"), James Edward Grant | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Jim McLain
Nancy Olson ... Nancy Vallon
James Arness ... Mal Baxter
Alan Napier ... Sturak
Veda Ann Borg ... Madge
Hans Conried ... Robert Henried
Hal Baylor ... Poke
Gayne Whitman ... Dr. Gelster
Gordon Jones ... Olaf
Robert Keys Robert Keys ... Edwin White
John Hubbard ... Lt. Cmdr. Clint Grey
Soo Yong Soo Yong ... Mrs. Namaka (as Madame Soo Yong)
Dan Liu Dan Liu ... Dan Liu - Honolulu Chief of Police (as Honolulu Chief Of Police Dan Liu)
Paul Hurst ... Mr. Lexiter
Vernon 'Red' McQueen Vernon 'Red' McQueen ... Phil Briggs (as Red McQueen)
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Storyline

U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee investigators Jim McLain and Mal Baxter attempt to break up a ring of Communist Party troublemakers in Hawaii (ignoring somewhat, as do their superiors in the Congress, that membership in the Communist Party was, at the time, legal in the U.S.) Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He's a Go-Get-'Em Guy for the U.S.A. on a Treason Trail that leads Half-a-World Away! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1952 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Jim McLain See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$826,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many scenes filmed in public places, such as the restaurant scene with Gordon Jones, appear to be "stolen", as the bystanders seem to be watching the scenes being played out, rather than act like extras who normally do not pay attention to the action. See more »

Goofs

Jim states that the USS Arizona "is still carried on Navy lists as a fighting ship of the line." The Arizona was actually officially struck from the Navy Vessel Register in December 1942. See more »

Quotes

Jim McLain: Lot of wonderful things written into our constitution that were meant for honest decent citizens. I resent the fact that it can be used and abused by the very people who want to destroy it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Closing credits epilogue: The Incidents in this motion picture are based on the files of the Committee on Un-American Activities, House of Representatives, Congress of the United States. Names and places have been changed. We gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of this Committee. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version released in Italy and some other European countries is retitled Marijuana and has John Wayne chasing drug smugglers instead of communists. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: The Conqueror (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

(I Wish I Was in) Dixie's Land
(uncredited)
aka "Dixie"
Music by Daniel Decatur Emmett
Played during the opening credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Take it for what it is
13 April 2008 | by frontrowkid2002See all my reviews

While Big Jim McLaine was made during the early Red Scare years of the Fifties, it still would have been a good action movie without the topical headlines that helped promote it. The villains could have been gangsters or hoodlums and nobody would have taken the position that maybe these people were just misunderstood. Granted, John Wayne may have been outspoken in his politics, but his movies were popular because of the image he projected. The men that went to see his movies may not have been as big or strong as he was but would have liked to have been. The John Wayne image was classic Hollywood wish fulfillment. Just as the Joan Crawford or Bette Davis image was for a lot of women. In those days, you picked your hero or heroine and stuck by them so regardless of what anybody else said or did, you went to see their movies. These people who delight in revealing what they have heard about your favorite star are doing it out of a sense of meaness. Movies originally were meant to entertain. That's why they ran them in theaters. Those films meant to educate were usually shown in classrooms. How many kids would have shown up at a theater if there was going to be a film about the pioneers crossing the desert and their hardships, but no Indian attacks. No drama, just historical fact. Aside from its topical subject matter, Big Jim McClain still would have drawn a crowd because John Wayne was in it. Like him or not, the guy had to have some sort of charisma to have lasted as long as he did.


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