6.3/10
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Big Jack (1949)

Approved | | Adventure, Western | 12 April 1949 (USA)
An outlaw finds a place in his gang for a grave-robbing doctor.

Director:

Richard Thorpe

Writers:

Marvin Borowsky, Otto Eis (as Osso Van Eyss) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Wallace Beery ... Big Jack Horner
Richard Conte ... Dr. Alexander Meade
Marjorie Main ... Flapjack Kate
Edward Arnold ... Mayor Mahoney
Vanessa Brown ... Patricia Mahoney
Clinton Sundberg ... C. Petronius Smith
Charles Dingle ... Mathias Taylor
Clem Bevans ... Saltlick Joe
Jack Lambert ... Bud Valentine
Will Wright ... Will Farnsworth
William 'Bill' Phillips William 'Bill' Phillips ... Toddy (as Wm. 'Bill' Phillips)
Syd Saylor ... Pokey
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Storyline

An outlaw finds a place in his gang for a grave-robbing doctor.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

BEERY and MAIN are partners in crime!...in comedy! See more »

Genres:

Adventure | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 April 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Harp See more »

Filming Locations:

Maryland, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$869,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was a flop at the box office, resulting in a loss to MGM of $291,000 ($3M in 2018) according to studio records. See more »

Quotes

Big Jack Horner: Put that thing away. No nice lady smokes a pipe on sunday.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Jacksonian Frontier Drama
27 November 2010 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Big Jack turned out to be the swan song for Wallace Beery one of the mainstays of MGM ever since the era of sound. If Big Jack isn't the best film Wallace Beery ever did it certainly will provide the film historian and fan with what would most assuredly be called a typical Wallace Beery role.

The film is set in the Jacksonian era of American history with Beery leading a pack of bandits. On an impulse he rescues Richard Conte from a lynching party and since he's been wounded the fact that Conte is a doctor comes in handy.

But what Conte is being lynched for is stealing dead bodies from graves to use in experiments. Conte is a scientist and while he's not conducting Frankenstein like experiments, those are the fears of the local populace. And while grave robbing is not a hanging offense, that's not an argument to make to those people whose loved one's corpses are being experimented on.

Marjorie Main teamed with Wallace Beery for many films, she was his most frequent screen partner after Marie Dressler died. Beery and Main worked well together and Big Jack is a great example of their chemistry.

Wallace Beery was also a great example of the screen image totally being the opposite of the man. In real life Beery was a miserly and misanthropic individual who few would ever have said a kind word about. Far from the lovable lug that he was best known for after his Oscar winning performance in The Champ.

Beery with his hair grown long for the part, did not look well at all during the film. While Big Jack will never be classified as one of his great films, it's a good example of the appeal that Wallace Beery had with the American movie-going public.


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