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Big Jim McLain

Released Aug 30, 1952 1h 30m Drama List
Reviews 38% Audience Score 250+ Ratings
Jim McLain (John Wayne) and his partner, Mal Baxter (James Arness), are investigators for the House Un-American Activities Committee, who are sent to Hawaii to find the leaders of a local Communist Party. They visit Dr. Gelster (Gayne Whitman), a psychiatrist who is treating one of the party members. While there, McLain charms the doctor's secretary, Nancy Vallon (Nancy Olson), and asks her out. As their hunt continues, McLain and Baxter become targets of Communist boss Sturak (Alan Napier). Read More Read Less
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Critics Reviews

View All (2) Critics Reviews
Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews Pathetic anti-Communist propaganda film with a snarling John Wayne at his ugliest as a macho windbag special agent for HUAC. Rated: D Jul 28, 2008 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com The name of Wayne's special agent for the HUAAC had the same initials as those of Senator Joseph McCarthy, which was not a coincidence, and Wayne himself believed that his popular propagandistic film helped McCarthy's reelection campaign. Rated: 2/5 May 27, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (29) audience reviews
Matthew D Communist is bad! Communist is bad! Communist is bad! Don't be a communist! Communist is bad! *Thank Christ, an action scene* Communist is bad! Communist is bad! Communist is bad! Don't be a communist! Communist is bad! *The end* Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 07/18/22 Full Review Ed M Slow. Hokey. John Wayne was famously anti-communist and this is basically just a propaganda piece. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 07/12/21 Full Review Audience Member This movie tells us a fictional version of what was going on in the US back in the 50's. Senator Joe McCarthy was trying his best to beat the communists, and the many infiltrators of Hollywood and congress, the senate and the presidential Cabinet, as well as the unions, media and education fought very successfully against him. This movie tells you how the Communists operated then and now. It was very well done. It is not very well rated but then, you have to really love your country, know what the communists have done and are doing today to really see the value of the movie. I recommend a book called, "None dare call it conspiracy" "The Venona Papers" and "Rules for Radicals" to get a feel for the truth. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review william d Weak drama that is nonetheless interesting for its depiction of the perceived communist threat at the height of the cold war, as well as for the travelogue-like scenes of 1950s Hawaii. I also enjoyed seeing Alan Napier in something other than his role as Alfred in the old Batman TV series. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Hunting Communists in Hawaii. A fifties era McCarthyism propaganda film. Joe must have loved it. I love John Wayne, but this film leaves a lot to be desired. This film seeks to glorify the Joe McCarty era paranoia and propaganda. The Americans who sought to discredit those who may have had left leaning ideas and Communist Conspirators attempting to undermine the country. Blacklisting and the suppression of Freedom of Speech and the right to self expression or thought was heroic. And John Wayne plays one of those "Heroes". The only thing interesting about this film is the glimpse into that era. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member During the times of Communism Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Big Jim McLain

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis Jim McLain (John Wayne) and his partner, Mal Baxter (James Arness), are investigators for the House Un-American Activities Committee, who are sent to Hawaii to find the leaders of a local Communist Party. They visit Dr. Gelster (Gayne Whitman), a psychiatrist who is treating one of the party members. While there, McLain charms the doctor's secretary, Nancy Vallon (Nancy Olson), and asks her out. As their hunt continues, McLain and Baxter become targets of Communist boss Sturak (Alan Napier).
Director
Edward Ludwig
Producer
Robert Fellows
Screenwriter
James Edward Grant, Eric Taylor, Richard English
Distributor
Warner Bros.
Production Co
Warner Brothers/Seven Arts
Genre
Drama
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Aug 30, 1952, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 30m
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