Cole Thornton, a gunfighter for hire, joins forces with an old friend, Sheriff J.P. Hara. Together with an old Indian fighter and a gambler, they help a rancher and his family fight a rival rancher that is trying to steal their water.
Retired, wealthy sea Captain James McKay arrives in the vast expanse of the West to marry fiancée Pat Terrill. McKay is a man whose values and approach to life are a mystery to the ranchers and ranch foreman Steve Leech takes an immediate dislike to him. Pat is spoiled, selfish and controlled by her wealthy father, Major Henry Terrill. The Major is involved in a ruthless land war, over watering rights for cattle, with a rough hewn clan led by Rufus Hannassey. The land in question is owned by Julie Maragon and both Terrill and Hannassey want it.Written by
E.W. DesMarais <email@example.com>
Definitely a big movie. Some great performances here as well as stunning photography and interesting direction. Wyler frames so much of the action in huge sweeping vistas, to evoke the film's title. A good job by Peck, playing the sea captain gone west. All the other characters seemed to have him pegged as a pantywaist city slicker from back East, rather than someone who would have to be quite tough to survive in that unknown milieu. His fiancee, was such a spoiled brat type that one wonders what McKay ever saw in her back in Baltimore. There was some strange connection between her and her father, played adequately by Charles Bickford. (They called one another "Darling") Jean Simmons as Julie Maragon lit up the screen with her charm whenever she appeared. The supporting cast, however, stole the show. Chuck Connors, as the sniveling, evil Buck Hennessey. Burl Ives, as the Hennessey patriarch. (Oscar winner for this role) And Charlton Heston, as the Ladder Ranch foreman, Steve Leach. An interesting role for Heston to accept, a fairly unlikeable character. The plot and dialogue were thoroughly engaging. I definitely recommend this film. Grade: A
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