In 1909, when John Fain's gang kidnaps Big Jake McCandles' grandson and hold him for ransom, Big Jake sets out to rescue the boy.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(story and screenplay), (story and screenplay) (as R.M. Fink)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Martha McCandles
...
...
Michael McCandles (as Chris Mitchum)
...
Jeff McCandles
...
...
O'Brien
...
...
Buck Dugan
...
...
...
Jim Burk ...
Trooper
Robert Warner ...
Will Fain
Edit

Storyline

The McCandles ranch is run over by a gang of cutthroats led by the evil John Fain. They 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 <cryan@direct.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They wanted gold. They gave them lead instead! See more »

Genres:

Action | Crime | Drama | Western

Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

26 May 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Million Dollar Kidnapping  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$7,500,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(photographs in opening credits)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In 1971, owing to the success of this film, John Wayne was #1 at the US box office for the last time. See more »

Goofs

The windshield glass in the first automobile disappears during the close-up shots. See more »

Quotes

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!
See more »

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User Reviews

Big Jake and Dirty Harry: Same Writers!
20 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

Some comments here have mentioned how much the Western "Big Jake" reminds them of "Dirty Harry." Actually, both films were written by the same screenwriters -- Harry and Rita Fink -- though additional writers were brought in on "Dirty Harry." Both films were developed and shot around the same time. "Big Jake" came out in summer 1971, and "Dirty Harry" came out at Christmas 1971. John Wayne said he was offered "Dirty Harry" before Eastwood took it (but Dirty Harry was also supposedly offered to Paul Newman, Frank Sinatra, Bill Cosby and Walter Matthau before Eastwood, too!)

The twice-repeated "do you feel lucky?" speech in "Dirty Harry" and the twice-repeated "your fault, my fault, nobody's fault" speech in "Big Jake" prove to me that the same writers worked on both scripts.

Also, Richard Boone must be singled out. This powerful, amusing actor always made a great villain. Wayne had tried to get him as the villain for several films before "Big Jake" (he'd done a cameo in "The Alamo"). Boone finally said "yes" to "Big Jake" and the verbal showdowns between Big John and Big Boone in "Big Jake" are a wonder to behold.

BTW, Boone turned down a lot of movie parts during the 70's (like the Robert Shaw part in "The Sting") but came to help out his old friend Wayne twice in that decade: "Big Jake" and "The Shootist" (1976.)


35 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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