Heston doesn’t smile much in The Big Country. He’s the Major’s (Charles Bickford) hard-bitten boy – the son he never had – and his foreman. He’s cowboy tuff and cowboy gruff. He’s also plain unhappy that the girl he’s loved so long has saddled up with an Eastern greenhorn, Gregory Peck. It ‘sticks in his craw’ – Big time – and he’s not going to leave quietly …
As the film ends, Big transitions are in the offing. The battling patriarchs – Burl Ives and Charles Bickford – are dead – along with Ives’ troublesome son Buck (Chuck Connors). It’s seems a ‘given’ that Heston will become the new boss of the Major’s empire – alongside his proper partner Carroll Baker; while the Hannassey’s (Ives’ bunch) homestead is in disarray with no one at its helm; meanwhile the “Big Muddy” now rises under Gregory Peck and Jean Simmons.
As Peck and Simmons ride off into the sunset – we are sure that Heston and Carroll Baker will complete their own circle (though we don’t get to see it).
One wonders though, if there still isn’t an untold story on the horizon …
The only problem is: where do you find the players? – another cast like this?
The answer is …
In this 2002 file photo, Charlton Heston acknowledges applause at a benefit honoring him at the
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.
(Photo by Steve Sisney/The OklahomanArchives)
Troubadour / Actor / Activist / Philanthropist / Mason …
Widipedia: Burl Icle Ivanhoe Ives (June 14, 1909 – April 14, 1995) was an American actor, writer and folk music singer. As an actor, Ives’s work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theater, television, and motion pictures. Music critic John Rockwell said, “Ives’s voice … had the sheen and finesse of opera without its latter-day Puccinian vulgarities and without the pretensions of operatic ritual. It was genteel in expressive impact without being genteel in social conformity. And it moved people.”
Winner 1986: The Golden Boot Awards – http://goldenbootawards.com/home.html
given to honor actors, actresses, and crew members who have made significant contributions to the genre of Western television and movies.
Burl Ives / A sketch
Movies: Ives made 30+ movie over 40 years, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (with Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor)
Music: Famed American poet Carl Sandburg called Ives “the mightiest ballad singer of this or any other century”
Ives is said to have learned Scottish, English and Irish ballads from his tobacco chewing grandmother.
Recognized as an important anthologist and editor of folk music, Ives is regarded by some to be the most important folk artist of all time and played along side such folk legends Pete Seeger, Josh White and Woody Guthrie.
Ives recorded more that 100 albums.
Appearing on Broadway in “The Boys From Syracuse” (1938), “This Is the Army” (1942) and “Sing Out Sweet Land” (1944), among other productions.
Worked with Rogers and Hart
Appeared on Broadway and in films such as Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and East of Eden.
Ives was one of many entertainers who got caught up in McCarthyism’s communist witch hunt in the late 40:
1950s: Communist blacklisting – Wikipedia:
Ives was identified in the 1950 pamphlet Red Channels and blacklisted as an entertainer with supposed Communist ties. In 1952 he cooperated with the House Committee on Unamerican Activities (HUAC) and agreed to testify. He stated that he was not a member of the Communist Party, but that he had attended various union meetings with fellow folk singer Pete Seeger simply to stay in touch with working folk. He stated: “You know who my friends are; you will have to ask them if they are Communists.”
Ives’s statement to the HUAC ended his blacklisting, allowing him to continue acting in movies. But it also led to a bitter rift between Ives and many folk singers, including Seeger, who accused Ives of betraying them and the cause of cultural and political freedom in order to save his own career. Ives countered by saying he had simply stated what he had always believed. Forty-one years later, Ives reunited with Seeger during a benefit concert in New York City. They sang “Blue Tail Fly” together.
Ives history and contribution to music in particular, is so comprehensive it’s almost insulting – and impossible – to encapsulate it him any way. Please refer to these bios for greater information: Wikipedia:http://www.amazon.com/wiki/Burl_Ives/ref=ntt_at_bio_wiki IMBD Internet Movie Database:http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0412322/ Oldies.com:http://www.oldies.com/artist-biography/Burl-Ives.html