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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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.)
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