Big Jim McLain (1952)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Big Jim McLain Videos

Big Jim McLain Photos

Movie Info

In this Cold War film, Big Jim McLain (John Wayne) and his partner Mal Baxter (Jim Arness) head to Hawaii to investigate a subversive pro-Communist organization. Feigning love for suspect Nancy Vallon (Nancy Olson), McLain ferrets out the name of the Big Cheese in charge of operations.
Action & Adventure , Classics , Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Western
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

Watch it now


John Wayne
as Jim McLain
Nancy Olson
as Nancy Vallon
James Arness
as Mal Baxter
Alan Napier
as Sturak
Gayne Whitman
as Dr. Gelster
Hal Baylor
as Poke
Robert Keys
as Edwin White
Hans Conried
as Robert Henried
John Hubbard
as Lt. Cmdr. Clint Grey
Sarah Padden
as Mrs. Lexiter
Soo Yong
as Mrs. Nomaka
Dan Liu
as Honolulu Chief of Police Dan Liu
Paul Hurst
as Mr. Lexiter (uncredited)
Vernon McQueen
as Phil Briggs (as Red McQueen)
Peter Brocco
as Mr. Nash
Peter Whitney
as Truckdriver
Harry Tyler
as Waiter
William Forrest
as McLain's Superior
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Big Jim McLain

All Critics (2)

Pathetic anti-Communist propaganda film with a snarling John Wayne at his ugliest as a macho windbag special agent for HUAC.

Full Review… | July 28, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

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.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006

Audience Reviews for Big Jim McLain


john wayne is an investigator for the u.s. house of un-american activities committee in all seriousness. nuff said

Harim Kim
Harim Kim

Big Jim McLain features one of John Wayne's best walk-through; he looks a little sheepish, but he's so amiable you forget he's really not in character. The drama at hand is tidied up rather quickly, yet the film is directed with a steady hand and has an easy-going pace. The black-and-white cinematography is quite beautiful, with silvery shots of the tropics in all their '50s splendor.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Seeks to glorify the loathsome Joe McCarthy and his venal lot. Wayne was a well known ultra conservative so his presence here is no surprise but that this thing exists at all is a shame.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Big Jim McLain Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Big Jim McLain on our Movie forum!

News & Features