Big Jake (1971)

There are 175 replies in this Thread which has previously been viewed 207,974 times. The latest Post () was by dukefan1.

Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!


    Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

    Information from IMDb

    Plot Summary
    The McCandles ranch is run over by a gang of cutthroats led by the evil John Fain.
    hey kidnap little Jacob McCandles and hold him for a million dollar ransom.
    There is only one man who is brave enough and smart enough to bring him back and that man is Big Jake
    Written by Christopher D. Ryan

    John Wayne is Big Jake McCandles, on the trail on bandits in this action drama that stretches from Texas to Mexico.
    It's 1909, and the Old West is giving way to modern times. When the outlaw gang led bu vicious John Fain (Boone)
    raids Jake's ranch and kidnaps his 8-year-old grandson, Jake's wife (Maureen O'Hara), whom he hasn't seen in 18 years,
    sends for her husband to rescue the boy. While the law gives chase in rickety automobiles, Jake saddles up with an Indian scout,
    a faithful dog, and a box of money. But paying ransom isn't Jake's idea of good old frontier justice.
    Written by Robert Lynch

    Full Cast
    John Wayne ... Jacob McCandles
    Richard Boone ... John Fain
    Patrick Wayne ... James McCandles
    Christopher Mitchum ... Michael McCandles
    Bruce Cabot ... Sam Sharpnose
    Bobby Vinton ... Jeff McCandles
    Glenn Corbett ... O'Brien
    John Doucette ... Buck Duggan
    Maureen O'Hara ... Martha McCandles
    Jim Davis ... Head of Lynching Party
    John Agar ... Bert Ryan
    Harry Carey Jr. ... Pop Dawson
    Gregg Palmer ... John Goodfellow
    Roy Jenson ... Gunman at Bathhouse in Escondero
    Virginia Capers ... Delilah
    Bill Walker ... Moses Brown (as William Walker)
    John McLiam ... Army Officer
    Bernard Fox ... Scottish Shepherd
    Don Epperson ... Saloon Bully in Escondero
    Jim Burk ... Trooper
    Dean Smith ... James William 'Kid' Duffy
    Ethan Wayne ... Little Jake McCandles
    Hank Worden ... Hank
    Tom Hennesy ... Mr. Sweet
    Chuck Roberson ... Texas Ranger
    Robert Warner ... Will Fain
    Jeff Wingfield ... Billy Devries
    Jerry Gatlin ... Stubby
    Everett Creach ... Walt Devries
    Michael E. Burgess ... Little Boy (uncredited)
    George Fenneman ... Narrator (voice) (uncredited)
    'Chico' Hernandez ... Boy on Town (uncredited)
    Jerry Summers ... Escondero Hotel Desk Clerk (uncredited)

    William H. Clothier

    Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
    Newt Arnold .... assistant director
    Cliff Lyons .... second unit director

    Denny Arnold .... stunts (uncredited)
    Bill Babcock .... stunts (uncredited)
    Jim Burk .... stunts (uncredited)
    Everett Creach .... stunts (uncredited)
    Jerry Gatlin .... stunts (uncredited)
    Chuck Hayward .... stunts (uncredited)
    Terry Leonard .... stunts (uncredited)
    Chuck Roberson .... stunt double: John Wayne (uncredited)
    Chuck Roberson .... stunts (uncredited)
    Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
    Jerry Summers .... stunts (uncredited)
    Buddy Van Horn .... stunts (uncredited)
    'Chema' Hernandez .... livestock coordinator (uncredited)

    70mm blow-up version released in Spain under the title "El Gran Jack".

    Bobby Vinton played the middle brother, despite being four years older than Patrick Wayne.

    This was to be the final film in which John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara would work together;
    they had previously collaborated in Rio Grande (1950), The Quiet Man (1952), The Wings of Eagles (1957), and McLintock! (1963).

    Ethan Wayne, who plays Big Jake's grandson, is actually John Wayne's real-life son.

    The ranch house used for the McCandles ranch is the same house used for the Chisum ranch in Chisum (1970),
    a John Wayne western made a year earlier. Note the scenery around the ranch.

    This was the first of only three John Wayne films (the others being Cahill (1973) and McQ (1974)
    to receive AA certificates by the UK censor, meaning that they could only be seen by persons 14 and over.
    All other Wayne movies were rated 'A' (PG) or under.

    In 1971, owing to the success of this film, John Wayne was #1 at the US Box Office for the last time.

    Director George Sherman was a friend of John Wayne dating back to their days in the 1930s making westerns at Republic Pictures
    . By the time of this film, however, Sherman was aging and not in the best of health,
    and had a difficult time shooting in the wilds of Mexico, where much of the movie was filmed.
    On the days when Sherman was unable to shoot because of his health conditions,
    Wayne took over direction, but when the film was completed he insisted that Sherman alone be credited as director.

    Final film of veteran director George Sherman.

    * Continuity: Toward the beginning of the movie, the Texas Rangers and the Mc Candle's boys
    are trying to get ahead of the kidnappers. When viewed from behind, the shadows are on the vehicle's right-hand side,
    when the camera is in front, the shadows are on the left, even though the vehicles are traveling the same direction the entire time.

    * Continuity: Big Jake is bucked off his horse and falls in a mud puddle. Later in the same scene his suit is clean.

    * Continuity: James McCandles is thrown off his horse by Big Jake into a mud puddle. Later in the same scene he is clean.

    * Continuity: During the kidnapping, Little Jake pokes at O'Brian with a pitchfork and knocks off O'Brian's hat,
    but O'Brian has puncture wounds in his cheeks, much lower than the area where he was struck with the pitchfork.

    * Continuity: Nine gang members ride to the ranch. One is killed. Seven ride away with "Little Jake".

    * Continuity: When Michael is showing Jake his gas-powered gun both Sam and James jump into the river for safety.
    Within minutes of leaving the river, the clothing worn by both of them is perfectly dry.

    * Continuity: Throughout the movie, the Big Jake's dog changes its color many times.

    Memorable Quotes

    Filming Location
    Durango, Mexico

    Previous Discussion:-
    Big Jake

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 24 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Big Jake is a 1971 Western film, filmed on location in Durango, Mexico,
    starring John Wayne, narrated by George Fenneman, and directed by George Sherman

    Your fault. My fault. I'm gonna blow your head off!,

    Part of the immortal lines from this great film.
    Duke was great in this film depicting the end of the gunslinger era,
    and Richard Boone, was a brilliant villain.

    Maureen, was her usual self.

    Patrick and Ethan Wayne, did OK, although Patrick has come under
    some criticism, over his acting, in the film.

    Bobby Vinton, adding, a curiosity role.

    Dog, was brilliant, and as mentioned in another thread,
    met a nasty end, by a nasty man!!

    On an historical note, the courtyard at the climax,
    is the real one, as used by PANCHO VILLA, when he and his men
    slaughtered 750 people!
    I enjoyed this film, tremendously
    With the addition of all the Ford/Wayne favourite stock company,
    an enjoyable film.

    Duke and Richard Boone at the premiere

    User Review


    Love the Duke!!
    17 February 2005 | by rubinmail-one (United States)

    First I have to say that I am a huge JW fan. In this film JW is his classic Kick A** self. There is some sentimental stuff in here, about the old man's relationship with his grown sons. Basically it is good old John Wayne Action. When the bad guys get the drop on him, all you can think is "Big mistake" This film is set in the early 1900s. There is an interesting parallel between the passing of the baton from one generation to the next (Jake and his grown sons) and the passing of technology. We see new fangled weapons and a motor car. (Naturally Jake rejects these)

    Finally: You got to love the idea of Big Jake owning a dog named ..... DOG.

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 5 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Hi

    Yes I liked Big Jake, although it was a violent picture but a sign of the times.

    It was also interesting to see good guys playing the badies, Gregg Palmer as his career wore on played the baddie probably more often than a hero, but Harry Carey jnr looked ornery and any thing but a hero, while Glenn Corbett's two roles in Wayne pictures Pat Garratt in Chisum and O'Brian in Big Jake, were as different as chalk and cheese.

    To be honest I watch a picture for the entertainment not how many goofs I can notice. I think te main thing is to enjoy the film for what it is not what side of the car the shadows are on or what can be vaguely seen in the background.

    I wonder if anyone interviewing John Ford what answer he would get if he
    asked him to give an explanation of why he did what he did in his pictures.



    Walk Tall - Talk Low

  • I like Big Jake and enjoy watching it but always thought it was a bit uneven at times between the violence and what was close to comedy Mc Lintock style.

    Wasn't Dog actually Lassie or one of her descendants?

  • I totally agree Arthur,
    I've included, in the reviews, every aspect of the films, as I can,
    including Trivia and Goofs,
    so that, there is something of interest for everyone.
    Same as you ,I watch the films, for their enjoyment

    Best Wishes
    London- England

  • This was the first film of John Waynes that I seen and the film that has made me a fan for over twelve years.

    The violence in the movie in my opinion is necessary and effective, the shootouts at the beginning and end of the movie are fantastic.

    If I was the director I would have made the following changes to the film

    1. Replaced Chris Mitchum with Stuart Whitman.
    2. Replaced Patrick Wayne with James Caan.
    3. Added two or three more bad guys.
    4. Made the night shots a little darker.
    5. Got rid of the knockabout humour which was ineffective in my opinon.
    6. I would not have had the scene in which the rangers go off looking for the bad guys in the 'horseless carriages'.

    However having said that John Wayne is excellent and there are many good scenes in the movie. Boone represents the best John Wayne villian in any movie and Ethan Wayne did an excellent job as Dukes grandson.

    Of course the inclusion of the dog was innovative and effective.

    For me personally this movie still stands up well today and I hope many more people on this site will enjoy it for what it is a good western adventure.

    Incidentally EthanEdwards do you know of any scenes from this movie that may have been cut, I am still trying to find out what happened young Billy.



  • Hi Robbie

    I couldnt agree with you more. I think they panicked over the violence and thought lets lighten it with comedy in the middle.

    I agree with you over Patrick & Chris two more suitable replacements would have been better.

    The car chase was a novelty to show it was the end of a era. They dont quite achieve reality to be honest.

    That said it is a good movie but as I said before slightly uneven.

    According to Maureen O Hara's book there was quite a bit cut from the movie (I think she said 1/2 hour I need to check) and she had more scenes than were shown and was rather bemused that her role ended up more or less a cameo.

    No possibility of a director's cut/special edition?


  • Hi,


    I agree, with DukePilgrim,
    and go along with his post, in the fact that,
    Maureen was in it for an unexcusable short time,
    and should the bits be put back in, it would have expanded their

    Best Wishes
    London- England

  • Hi All

    I checked Maureen's book and she states that some of the best scenes with her and Duke were cut. If this is the case what else is missing. It would be great if some kind of restored cut could be reissued as a DVD.

    Numerous films have been reissued this way. I would presume that Batjac would have the rights.

    Is there any way this can be investigated? I do believe this would sell which would make it interesting to those with rights.

    Any thoughts


  • Hi DukePilgrim

    1/2 an hour seems quite a lot I would certainly be very interested to find out if there are more scenes out there of this movie.

    Since it is a Batjak movie made in 1971 there is a reasonable chance that the extra footage may still exist in the John Wayne vault controlled by Wayne enterprise.



  • Aye, there's the rub - does the footage of any of these missing scenes still exist?
    The older the movie, it is less likely that any of these are still around. Look at "The Alamo." It is only through the most fortuitous of circumstances that there is an uncut version (the original roadshow version) available. I'm sure a number of the Duke's movies had scenes wind up on the cutting room floor, but it is extremely rare that any of these have shown up.
    Cheers - Jay <_<

    Cheers - Jay:beer:
    "Not hardly!!!"

  • Hi all,
    I like this film very much. And I like Pat and Ethan in it, never thought about the replacements.
    When we watch this film last time with my friend, she asked me: Did Jake returned to the beautiful grandmother at last?
    At the end of the film they said: Lets go home...

  • Memorable Quotes

    Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles: And now you understand. Anything goes wrong, anything at all... your fault, my fault, nobody's fault... it won't matter - I'm gonna blow your head off. No matter what else happens, no matter who gets killed I'm gonna blow your head off.

    [to his son]
    Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles: You can call me Dad, you can call me Father, you can call me Jacob and you can call me Jake. You can call me a dirty old son-of-a-bitch, but if you EVER call me Daddy again, I'll finish this fight.

    John Fain: Who are you?Jake: Jacob McCandles.
    John Fain: I thought you were dead.
    Jake: Not hardly.

    O'Brian: They tell me you killed two good men in a fair fight tonight. That true?
    James McCandles: No, three; countin' you.

    Martha McCandles: They're very dangerous men. They've already killed ten people, many of them you know... Juan and his family...

    Jake: Tina and the little boy?
    Martha McCandles: And Moses Brown.
    Jake: Old Mose... lousy cook.

    Pop Dawson: Say, you don't look too good. The sight of blood bother you?
    Jake: Only my own.

    Jake: Throw a blanket over 'im (a horse).
    James McCandles: I can ride without a blanket.
    Jake: I'm not worrying about your butt! It's his back!

    [Big Jake and Sam Sharpnose try to get a hotel room]
    Jake: Give us a room.
    Hotel desk clerk: The dog is all right, but, ah, we do not allow Indians.

    Jake: Well, if you can shoot that far, a quarter of a mile straight along the edge of my nose is a mountain buck. Shoot it.
    Michael McCandles: I don't kill to make a point, Father.
    Jake: Michael, there's two reason to kill - survival and meat. We need meat!

    Jake: You're short on ears and long on mouth!
    John Fain: A ranch sure is a deserted looking place during a round-up.

    Jake: What do you do when cockroaches get in the woodwork, Michael?
    James McCandles: Smoke 'em out?
    Jake: That's right.

    Michael McCandles: Why not wait for them to make the first move?
    Jake: Because waiting is good for them and bad for us. You get impatient, nervy, careless and maybe dead.

    John Fain: You come close, mister, but no cigar!

    James McCandles: I am moved by your faith in someone you haven't seen since he was sixteen years old, Daddy!

    Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles: Daddy?
    James McCandles: Daddy.
    Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles: Well, son; since you don't have any respect for your elders, it's time somebody taught you some respect for your betters!
    [grabs James and throws him into a mud puddle]
    James McCandles: Why, if you weren't my father...
    Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles: Go ahead. I give you leave.
    [James swings and misses, Jake hits him and knocks him back into the puddle]


    Best Wishes
    London- England

  • I think I remember seeing this movie several years ago.Near the beginning of the movie where Big Jake is heading home.He rides upon 2 men about to hang a sheep herder.Jake intervenes and one of the 2 men says,who are you?Jake says,Jacob McCandle.The man says thought you was dead.Jake says,Not hardly.
    Needsless to say they didn't hang the sheepherder.
    But the last several times that I watched this movie this scene wasn't in it.
    I know he had the same conversation at the end of the movie with Richard Boone.
    Tell me if I am remembering right or did I dream this.

  • Hi lawman in sc,
    You're quite right, and here it is from the Memorable Quotes thread.
    By the way youre post on THE COWBOYS, was blank,

    Best Wishes

    Best Wishes
    London- England

  • One of the best lines from this movie is Duke's "Not hardly!"

    The plot of the movie is interesting, with many different aspects. There is a certain amount of comic relief, but it certainly doesn't make up for the extremely bloody, gory scenes. The first time we watched this, it was after having seen at least 20 to 30 JW movies, and the violence and blood were shocking in comparison (but in line with the time period in which the movie was made). For that reason, we don't watch it very often (don't like our young son watching it).

    Deep Discount DVD has an older DVD version of the film, for under $8.

    Amazon offers the newer DVD, part of Paramount's John Wayne Collection that includes the released-just-last-year The High and the Mighty, Island in the Sky, Hondo, McLintock, and probably other titles as well. I suspect the newer DVD has some special features not available on the earlier one.

    Chester :newyear:

  • And you could also add another 'goof' to this part of the film as well. When Duke rides in to save the sheepherder and his boy from hanging, he asks the man if his sheep are for sale. The man replies yes, whereas the Duke says he'll give him $100 now, and $300 more when they reach market. As the scene plays out, it's apparent that Duke never gave the sheepherder the $100.

    As for the whole movie, it's always been a favorite. Although, I do agree with others in that the opening kidnapping was a little too violent for my taste (did we really need to see Harry Carey Jr. shoot a defenseless mexican boy?). Also, not having JW make his first appearance in the film till almost 20 minutes goes by was just too long. If, as stated, they had to cut 30 minutes from the final version, why not cut down on this long played-out scene, and keep the ones involving Maureen and Duke. Also, Patrick Wayne seemed to be rather weak in his acting in the film. His scene where he is called a coward in the bar was proof of that. As someone else mentioned, James Caan would have elevated the role much more.

    but all in all, still a good film. my rating...8/10

  • This was on the BOOK channel last night, and I watched it twice (back2back).

    "i thought you were dead"
    "Not, hardly!!"