Big Jake

1971

Action / Crime / Drama / Western

11
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 9430

Synopsis


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April 10, 2016 at 07:21 AM

Director

Cast

Maureen O'Hara as Martha McCandles
John Wayne as Jacob McCandles
Patrick Wayne as James McCandles
Harry Carey Jr. as Pop Dawson
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
789.21 MB
1280*544
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 1 / 3
1.65 GB
1920*816
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 50 min
P/S 2 / 6

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SimonJack 7 / 10

A Western family affair in the story and the cast

John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara appeared together in five films over 20 years. In most of those, they co-starred as the leads. But in this final pairing of 1971, O'Hara's part is little more than a cameo. That's because it's all guys and guts after their reuniting after many years of separation, and the guys ride off into danger.

The Duke plays "Big Jake" McCandles, and two estranged sons join him in his quest to save his grandson. Little Jake, whom he has never seen, was kidnapped and is being held for ransom. Apparently, Martha (O'Hara) is a rich woman and has agreed to pay the $1 million ransom. But, only Jake can be trusted to make the swap. Of course, the local sheriff and a posse with new-fangled horseless carriages think they can get to the kidnappers faster. After they are ambushed and taken out of action, Jake's sons see the wisdom of his ways and join in his quest.

Surprises are in store for the kidnappers and for others as well. Wayne plays an older man - or his age, in this film (64), and so he's slowed down. Wisdom in this case encompasses taking one's time and not rushing headlong into things or places. I can identify with that. Otherwise, it's a solid Western with plenty of action. It's a good tale in the John Wayne tradition of Westerns.

Among the very good supporting cast is Richard Boone as John Fair, the "brains" of the kidnappers. The Duke's son, Patrick Wayne plays his son, James, in the film. Others are Bruce Cabot, Harry Carey Jr., and Christopher Mitchum, son of actor Robert Mitchum. The film's cast is as much a family affair as is the story and their parts in it.

Reviewed by charlywiles 5 / 10

The Duke and Maureen - one last time

I'm a huge fan of John Wayne and this was the first Wayne western I saw in a theater on first release. It's a treat seeing Wayne and O'Hara again and many of the veteran character actors such as Bruce Cabot, Harry Carey, Jr. and Hank Worden that have appeared in many films with the Duke. Richard Boone also gives a marvelous performance as the vicious villain and he's the perfect foil for Wayne in the film. No one could play a slimy bad-guy like Boone. Having said all that however, this still is not a very good picture. The direction is shoddy (reportedly director Sherman was ill during the shoot and Wayne directed scenes himself), the script weak and many of the performances are sub-par (Patrick Wayne is particularly bad). Most of the humor in the film comes across as forced and some of the violence is kind of gratuitous and in bad taste. This was typical of most of Wayne's 1970's films (the exceptions are the classic "The Shootist" and the underrated "The Cowboys"), he often gave clich├ęd performances during this era and was mostly just going through the motions and playing his "personna." I almost gagged when I saw an earlier reviewer state that this is better than "The Searchers." Sorry - not even close. Still, it's The Duke and most of the movie is kind of fun - just don't compare it with Wayne's best Westerns. "Stagecoach," "Red River," "Rio Bravo," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," and the aforementioned "The Searchers" and "The Shootist" are all miles ahead.

Reviewed by one-nine-eighty 7 / 10

Don't call me daddy!

The McCandles ranch is attacked by a gang of bad guys led by John Fain. They kill people, they steal things, but worse, they kidnap little Jacob McCandles and hold him for a million dollar ransom. Only "Big" Jake McCandles, John Wayne, can save the day, despite being old and presumed long dead in the film. Big Jake leads a small group which includes his real life son, as well as the kidnappers bounty through the wild west to the meeting point. Learning about each other in the process and having the occasional punch up.

The acting can be split into two in this film. First, the dialogue - it's strong and the narrative drives action throughout the film. Secondly the acting, it's bloody awful, the punches are so fake that you could walk an elephant through the space between fist and face. Not being a massive font of knowledge on John Wayne films this felt like what a typical John Wayne film would feel like; an older looking fellow who rides into town, he's got a smart and sarcastic mouth, he respects ladies, he stands up to the bad guys, he punches some people, shoots others, then he rides off into the sunset. This is that kind of a film. It's set in 1909 at a time when motorbikes and motorcars roamed the wild west as well as outlaws on horseback, this felt a little out of place for my expectations of a western film, but hey ho, they have to move with the times too I guess. Not the best western, not the best western (because that's a hotel in the UK), something to watch with your brain disengaged on a lazy Sunday. Enjoy!

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