Big Jake – 1971 – English
Film directed in 1971 by George Sherman, and starring John Wayne, Richard Boone, Maureen O’Hara, Patrick Wayne, Christopher Mitchum, Bruce Cabot, Bobby Vinton, Glenn Corbett, Harry Carey Jr., John Doucette…
Synopsis: McCandles Ranch is run over by a gang of cutthroats led by the evil John Fain. They kidnap little Jacob McCandles and hold him for one million dollars ransom. There is only one man brave enough, tough enough, and smart enough to bring him back alive, and that man is Big Jake.
Review: From its documentary style opening, Big Jake delivers big fun, big adventure, nasty villains, whippersnapper sons and classic John Wayne. This movie has something for everyone, but be warned it has plenty of violence and is definitely a PG/ PG13 type film.
The supporting cast is excellent with Patrick Wayne, Christopher Mitchum, Richard Boone, Bruce Cabot, Maureen O’Hara, Gregg Palmer and Dog turning in solid performances.
While there are the formulaic elements such as horrendous acts perpetuated by bad men that give license to the good guys to do whatever is necessary to right the wrong, Big Jake also has other elements that make this film not just another Western:
- Takes place in transition period of the turn of the century which provides some interesting interaction between the old ways and new ways.
- Fun relationships and interplay between an estranged father and his young adult sons.
- Great mixture of fun and intense gritty action. (John Wayne movies are known for this)
If you like Westerns this is a classic that you will enjoy.
If you are a fan of John Wayne at all this is a must see film.
If you are just looking for a good gritty action film with a healthy dose of humor seamlessly woven in to the story you will not be disappointed.
Ultimately, this is one of my favorite John Wayne films.