7.2/10
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Big Jake (1971)

GP | | Western | 26 May 1971 (USA)
In 1909, when John Fain's gang kidnaps Jacob McCandles' grandson and holds him for ransom, Big Jake sets out to rescue the boy.

Directors:

George Sherman, John Wayne (uncredited)

Writers:

Harry Julian Fink (story and screenplay), Rita M. Fink (story and screenplay) (as R.M. Fink)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Wayne ... Jacob McCandles
Richard Boone ... John Fain
Maureen O'Hara ... Martha McCandles
Patrick Wayne ... James McCandles
Christopher Mitchum ... Michael McCandles (as Chris Mitchum)
Bobby Vinton ... Jeff McCandles
Bruce Cabot ... Sam Sharpnose
Glenn Corbett ... O'Brien
Harry Carey Jr. ... Pop Dawson
John Doucette ... Buck Dugan
Jim Davis ... Head of Lynching Party
John Agar ... Bert Ryan
Gregg Palmer ... John Goodfellow
Jim Burk Jim Burk ... Trooper
Robert Warner Robert Warner ... Will Fain
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Storyline

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. Written by Christopher D. Ryan <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

John Wayne and Richard Boone star in a thrilling chase across the changing frontier See more »

Genres:

Western

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

26 May 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Million Dollar Kidnapping See more »

Filming Locations:

Rancho Marley, Durango, Mexico See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$4,800,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Batjac Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (photographs in opening credits)| Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Wayne's brother Robert E. Morrison had died of lung cancer shortly before production began. See more »

Goofs

After the shootout in the hotel room, the strong box supposedly has its lock blown open by a shotgun blast, revealing its fake contents. However, only two shotgun blasts were fired in the hotel room and both of them were aimed out of the room: one killed the guy coming in the window, and the other one killed the guy coming in the door. No shots were fired into the room. See more »

Quotes

Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles: Michael flies off mountain on his bike. Jacob rides down,impressive as JW did the gaff, to see if Michael is alive or dead
Michael McCandles: "Father, is that you?" Jacob: "are you okay, no broken bones..." Yes father. Michael Stands up. Jacob"Take off your goggles" Michael, why father, Jacob: Take off your goggles.
Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles: Jacob punches Michael right in the face. Helps him up and punches him again.
Michael McCandles: Michael, sitting in the dirt and confused, says in a deep and serious voice..."Father, Father, the next time... Jacob ...
See more »

Connections

References The Searchers (1956) See more »

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User Reviews

Big Jake and Dirty Harry: Same Writers!
20 August 2003 | by ecarleSee all my reviews

Some comments here have mentioned how much the Western "Big Jake" reminds them of "Dirty Harry." Actually, both films were written by the same screenwriters -- Harry and Rita Fink -- though additional writers were brought in on "Dirty Harry." Both films were developed and shot around the same time. "Big Jake" came out in summer 1971, and "Dirty Harry" came out at Christmas 1971. John Wayne said he was offered "Dirty Harry" before Eastwood took it (but Dirty Harry was also supposedly offered to Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, Bill Cosby and Walter Matthau before Eastwood, too!)

The twice-repeated "do you feel lucky?" speech in "Dirty Harry" and the twice-repeated "your fault, my fault, nobody's fault" speech in "Big Jake" prove to me that the same writers worked on both scripts.

Also, Richard Boone must be singled out. This powerful, amusing actor always made a great villain. Wayne had tried to get him as the villain for several films before "Big Jake" (he'd done a cameo in "The Alamo"). Boone finally said "yes" to "Big Jake" and the verbal showdowns between Big John and Big Boone in "Big Jake" are a wonder to behold.

BTW, Boone turned down a lot of movie parts during the 70's (like the Robert Shaw part in "The Sting") but came to help out his old friend Wayne twice in that decade: "Big Jake" and "The Shootist" (1976.)


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