Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Nearly three decades after climbing the top-ten charts with his ballad "Big Bad John", Jimmy Dean stars in a film version of the song. Dean doesn't play the title character, though; that honor goes to ex-footballer Doug English. After killing a man who needed killing, Big Bad John loses himself by going to work in a treacherous Colorado coal mine. A whole slew of plot complications later, the film finally gets around to the gist of the song, with Big Bad John saving the lives of his fellow miners at the price of his own. For the record, Dean plays a sheriff who reluctantly pursues the fugitive John all over the country. Also in the cast is Ned Beatty, playing an abusive father to end all abusive fathers, and Jack Elam and Bob Hopkins, doing their usual. Big Bad John was directed by Burt Kennedy, an old hand at backwoods melodramas.