Big Jake

1971

Action / Crime / Drama / Western

16
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 85%
IMDb Rating 7.2 10 10563

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: LINUS
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 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 50 min
P/S 4 / 4
1.65 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
PG-13
23.976 fps
1 hr 50 min
P/S 3 / 7

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by knight_hawk2002 7 / 10

Violently Good

From the outset 'Big Jake' will always be a firm favourite of mine, it's the first John Wayne movie I can recall watching, and this is the movie that has made him my all-time favourite movie star and actor.

The movie follows Dukes pursuit of seven kidnappers whom killed a large number of people at his former ranch (now run by his estranged wife) and kidnapped his grandson.

Up until this point in John Wayne's career he had by in large refrained from using excessive violence in his movies. However it could be argued and with some basis that movies such as 'True Grit', 'The Green Berets' and 'The Alamo' to name but three were physically violent in their own right. Regardless of this however 'Big Jake' was to be a dramatic departure for John Wayne due to the fact that on numerous occasions it give an honest depiction of physical violence. The opening shootout at the Candles ranch is a prime example of this, the sequence is extremely well executed by the director and stunt co-coordinators and there are many examples gunshot wounds which add to the realism of the movie.

The screenplay is rather slick with ample action included to satisfy audience expectations. The movie does contain many memorable scenes such as the opening and closing shootouts, Dukes casual killing of a would be assassin and some touching and at times volatile scenes involving Jake and his ex wife played eloquently by the great Maureen O'Hara.

An interesting segment at the start involves a voice-over retelling the transformation of the west from the early 1800's to its relatively civilised state in 1909 (when the film is set). The voice-over also introduces the audience to nine bandits whom act as the heavies in the movie, its fascinating to hear a brief introduction of each bandit and what skill they bring to the group e.g. Fain is the leader, O'Brien the gunfighter and John Goodfellow is proficient with a machete etc etc.

Duke in this movie is accompanied is his pursuit if the kidnappers by a trusted dog (who is very violent) an Indian friend played very well by Bruce Cabot, and his two on screen sons James (Patrick Wayne who is Dukes own son) and Michael (Chris Mitchum). The main protagonist in the movie is John Fain played superbly by Richard Boone and some of the scenes between him and John Wayne are very memorable containing both tension and style. John Wayne's youngest son John Ethan Wayne makes his debut in this movie playing the kidnapped grandson of Jake and acquits himself very impressively to the field of acting.

Despite my fondness for this movie it is not however without its weaknesses, for one the acting by both Patrick Wayne and Chris Mitchum is horrendous and neither one manages to endear the audience to their respective characters. Some sloppy direction also resulted in the disappearance of one of the Fain gang early in the movie, despite being given an introduction at the start of the movie; young Billy simply disappears without any explanation right at the beginning of the raid on the McCandles ranch. Several campfire scenes that are set at night appear much too bright; the director should have masked the lens on the camera more in order to ensure the scenes effectiveness. Finally several stunts involving Mitchum and a motorcycle come across as tired, overblown and generally dull although the director rightly erased the motorcycle from the movie quite early on much to the relief of the audience.

Critics were less than impressed with the movie stating that it was 'overly violent', these were the same critics who praised the Wild Bunch months earlier for being innovative and honest in its depiction of violence. Despite what he critics stated and some of the minor criticisms I have pointed out about this movie it remains a firm favourite and was a big box office hit when first released.

Reviewed by ccthemovieman-1 8 / 10

Big Jake Holds His Own, Thank You

Mark this down as a very entertaining western with more realistic gunfight scenes than most films, meaning the good guys get shot as well as the villains. John Wayne's "The Searchers," a very similar movie story-wise, gets a lot better press than this film but "Big Jake" is just as good, if not better.

To be fair, while the gunfights in here were well done, the fistfights were an insult. Whenever someone got slugged, such as Wayne belting his kids, it had no effect on them, except just to knock them down for a second or two. In real life, folks, chances are you will knocked unconscious if you are hit in the face, especially by a powerful man like Wayne. This has been a ludicrous fact-of-life, however, in all films for 100 years, not just here.

Other than that, the film is a straight hard-nosed one with Wayne and adversary Richard Boone both fascinating. The dialog between the two was especially fun to hear. Too bad there wasn't more of it. Boone did not have enough lines in this film. Wayne's real-life sons in this film didn't impress me with their acting but they weren't horrible either.

Bruce Cabot was a hoot as an old Indian friend of Wayne's. As with most westerns, there is some nice scenery so if you have the opportunity, watch this on widescreen DVD. It was nice-looking movie.

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.

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