Director: George Sherman
Cast: John Wayne, Richard Boone, Maureen O'Hara, Patrick Wayne, Christopher Mitchum, Bruce Cabot and Bobby Vinton
Western / Action
Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles (John Wayne) is summoned by his estranged family after a vicious raid on their ranch leaves several dead and Jake’s grandson kidnapped. The bandits lead by John Fain (Richard Boone) has taken the boy across the border into Mexico and are holding him for a one million dollar ransom. Jake returns to his wife Martha (Maureen O'Hara) and his now grown sons James and Michael (Patrick Wayne and Christopher Mitchum, respectively), to lead the posse down to Mexico to pay the ransom.
Set in 1909, Jake’s sons attempt to use new fangled automobiles to lay a trap for the bandits, but end up being ambushed instead. However, Jake comes to the rescue with his tried and true western methods on horseback and faithful dog at his side.
Jake has some tough moments with his family also as his grown sons clearly have some animosity towards Jake for leaving them alone all those years. However, the matter at hand unites the family towards the single purpose of rescuing Jake’s Grandson.
Notes: Big Jake was written by Harry and Rita Fink, who also wrote the Clint Eastwood breakthrough movie, “Dirty Harry”. Before Clint Eastwood, John Wayne was considered for the role of Dirty Harry, along with Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.
This was John Wayne’s last film with Maureen O'Hara, after having starred opposite her in “Rio Grande”, “The Quiet Man”, “The Wings of Eagles” and “McLintock! ”. Maureen O'Hara would not do another film for 20 years, when she starred in “Only the Lonely.”
Two of John Wayne’s real life children star in “Big Jake” as well, with Patrick Wayne portraying James McCandles and Ethan Wayne playing the abducted grandson Little Jake.
Big Jake - Trailer
Big Jake clip