How can we be certain, Robbie, that it was an editing error, per se? It could have been in the footage that was shot and left out due to the contractual requirements for the film. I'm not being argumentative here. I'm only pointing out that when Big Jake was shot, the scope of the take required 3 hours of film to tell the story. Compressing it into 2 hours obviously changed it greatly, not necessarily for the better.
Forgot to mention: I'd give a great deal for a Director's Cut Blu-Ray version of Big Jake that would include the missing scenes. A great deal.
That's one theory that could be valid. OTOH, it's dark. After a battle it takes time to calculate losses. Time and light are required to see who is dead and who is still in the land of the living...this would include Jake's Indian friend and Dog.
We tend to take for granted the advantages we have here in the 21st Century and forget how limited things were in the late 19? early 20th? Century when light was provided by fires and lanterns. Without flashlights torches had to be used to discover the identities of the quick and the dead.
In my very humble opinion, everyone who is being critical of Jake has neglected to comprehend that he would have to search for his dead in the deepest dark... I've observed this frequently among people who haven't studied history. Or who don't think about what it was like before everyone had electricity, klieg lights and floodlights.
Perhaps the critics are unfamiliar with camping. It's dark out there at night, folks. Without those movie lights there's nothing to see at night in the wilderness. Nothing at all but the darkest black night.
What people are really saying is that they would notice the missing friend and the missing dog. Big Jake will learn that bad news soon enough. The sun always rises. Was Big Jake due that instant of happiness when he met his grandson for the first time? I believe he deserved it. So would his friend and so would Dog. They had died in the act of saving the boy. It made no difference to them when their deaths were discovered. Neither life will go unmourned.
There's a large amount of criticism on the IMDB boards about this film which is directed at Big Jake for not acknowledging the loss of his Native American friend and his loss of Dog.
One must wonder whether the resolution of these losses were left out in the editing process...I suspect as much.
I'm watching an episode of "Have Gun Will Travel" right now, and Paladin has taken up the cause of a range war between brothers...The DeVries brothers, and one is named Walt!!
Interesting how the name is used again in a movie with Rchard Boone 12 years later!!
Harry Julian Fink wrote the script for that episode, 'Hunt the Man Down,' as well as 'Big Jake.' No coincidence there, Tennesseean. Fink wrote 18 scripts for HGWT, assisted by someone named Rita M Fink. Whether wife or sister is unknown.