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Big Jake (1971)

John Wayne , Richard Boone , John Wayne , George Sherman  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)

List Price: $12.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: John Wayne, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Christopher Mitchum
  • Directors: John Wayne, George Sherman
  • Writers: Harry Julian Fink, Rita M. Fink
  • Producers: John Wayne, Michael Wayne
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: April 29, 2003
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (245 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00008CMR4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,387 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Big Jake" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

An aging Texas cattle man who has outlived his time swings into action when outlaws kidnap his grandson and wound his son. He returns to his estranged family to help them in the search for Little Jake.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't call him DADDY!!!!!!!!! December 25, 2002
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This film is one of the better later-day John Wayne films, though strangely violent for a Wayne film. The Duke stars Jacob MacCandles (maybe a reflection of his real life family situation) as a tough man, estranged from his wife and grown sons. Bobby Vinton gives a quickie performance as Wayne's eldest son, shot when (the great) Richard Boone and his band of cutthroats nearly slaughter all on Jacob's ranch in the kidnapping of his grandson (played by Wayne youngest son Ethan). Patrick Wayne, his real son, plays second eldest son and youngest son, Michael, is played by Christopher Mitchum (Robert Mitchum's son!).
In tow are Wayne regulars, Harry Carey (disgusting tobacco chewing baddie), Bruce Cabot as the Indian tracker showing age with Jacob, Glen Corbett as breed the fast gun that faces off against Patrick Wayne in a gun fight, the most natural actor to ever grace the screen, the late Richard Boone, and a lovely appearance by the eternally beautiful Maureen O'Hara, once again playing John's long suffering wife whot loves him, but cannot live with him.
It is super to watch Wayne with Cabot, Carey, Boone and O'Hara, and Jim Davis (later rose to fame once more as Jock Ewing of Dallas) and though the film is intensely violent, I don't see it was gratuitous. The violence came from the end of a very violent era, times were changing, but not fast enough. The violence of the kidnappers had to be there to show Wayne's to-the-wall rescue of his small grandson was called for. Wayne's character was a violent man when the times called for it, but it was just as willing to let things go - if ONLY the other person walked away.
He worked well with his sons and Mitchum, and the interaction between Jacob and his two sons provides the Wayne brand humour in the film.
The times were changing for the code of the old west, and in the same way, times were changing for John Wayne....
I give Wayne credit for not pulling punches in a film that does him credit.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
"Big Jake" is one of my favorite John Wayne movies, which is not to claim that it is a classic film. This film is directed by George Sherman, who first began doing Westerns back in the late 1930s, although Wayne is known to have directed some scenes as well. In retrospect I would argue that this 1971 film is the first of a trio of film that Wayne made at the end of his career reflecting the passing of the Western. The other two would be Wayne's next film, "The Cowboys," and obviously his final film, "The Shootist." Of that trio "Big Jake" is clearly the most fun and my biggest complaint about this film is that when it is shown on television they almost always have the first commercial break at the absolute worst moment.

The film begins with a raid on the McCandles Ranch where Little Jake McCandles (Ethan Wayne, the Duke's youngest son, named for the character he played in "The Searchers") is kidnapped by a gang of cutthroats led by John Fain (Richard Boone). Fain demands a ransom to be delivered across the border in Mexico. The Texas Rangers are willing to do it, but Martha McCandles (Maureen O'Hara), the boy's grandmother, announces that this is a disagreeable task and needs to be done by a disagreeable man. At this point we cut to an extreme close up of John Wayne peering down the barrel of a rifle. It is a great introduction to Wayne's character in the film and a fitting counterpart to the moment in "Stagecoach" when we first see the Ringo Kid and his Winchester.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Western Escapism With Big John February 22, 2008
Format:DVD
One of John Wayne's better late-career vehicles, "Big Jake" (1971) is an enjoyable turn-of-the-century Western that mixes humor and gunplay in equal measure. The cinematic icon remains tall in the saddle as Texas rancher Jacob McCandles - taking on villainous Richard Boone and anyone else responsible for the kidnapping of his grandson. Veteran director George Sherman keeps the action moving at a relaxed pace. However, the climactic shootout is bloodier than expected for a Wayne Western. In a disappointingly small role, Maureen O'Hara appears with the Duke for the last time as McCandles' estranged wife.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Solid John Wayne Western! January 22, 2008
Format:DVD
For years I watched this film on TV and found it to be a so-so John Wayne effort, interesting but kind of average as Wayne films go. But recently I had the opportunity to purchase the widescreen DVD and got to watch the non-"edited for television & modified to fit your screen" feature film and found it to be a very good movie. With strong performances, a great plot, and exciting action, its now become a favorite of mine.

The period is the early 1900's. John Wayne plays Jacob McCandles, an old-fashion cowboy out of place in the "modern era." Having been estranged from his family for over 10 years he is called back when the grandson he never knew has been kidnapped and held for $1,000,000 ransom. It's up to Jake, his Indian friend Sam Sharpnose (played decently by Bruce Cabot) and his two sons (Patrick Wayne, Christopher Mitchum) to retrieve the boy at all costs. What follows is an adventure that brings father and sons together as they become dependent on each other to survive the coming violence.

What makes this movie great is the cast. Besides Wayne and Cabot, we get the always outstanding Maureen O'Hara as the matriarch of the McCandles family, hard-nosed and stubborn in her devotion to her family. Richard Boone plays the leader of the outlaw gang and brings his own typical flair to the part. Two of the best scenes are when he verbally spars with Jake, each trying to dominate the other and neither one successful. Harry Carey, Glen Corbett, and a young Bobby Vinton in a bit part, rounds out the cast.

What fails in this movie though, is the constant attempts at levity. Silly antics coupled with silly music takes the hard-edge of the movie away at the wrong times.
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