Review: ‘Big Jake’

Big Jake is an extremely slick and commercial John Wayne starrer, this time as a long-gone husband out to rescue a grandson from kidnapper Richard Boone.

Big Jake is an extremely slick and commercial John Wayne starrer, this time as a long-gone husband out to rescue a grandson from kidnapper Richard Boone.

Harry Julian Fink and R.M. Fink’s original story and script is well-structured and fleshed with solid dialog. It opens with a 10-person slaughter 13 minutes into the film. Maureen O’Hara, as a strong-willed woman whose husband (Wayne) has long since departed, sends for him to track down Boone’s gang which has kidnapped grandson John Ethan Wayne (the star’s own eight-year-old son). Sons Patrick Wayne and Christopher Mitchum mature, in a manner of speaking, when they team up with their father. Bruce Cabot’s performance as an Indian scout is excellent.

There is gore spattered all over the screen. A Wayne film doesn’t have to resort to such excess. Performances are totally professional. Wayne and Boone snarl extremely well at each other. Patrick Wayne handles his role with a fine cockiness. Mitchum is very good. Bobby Vinton plays another son who has little footage.

Big Jake

Production

Batjac. Director George Sherman; Producer Michael A. Wayne; Screenplay Harry Julian Fink, R.M. Fink; Camera William H. Clothier; Editor Harry Gerstad; Music Elmer Bernstein; Art Director Carl Anderson

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1971. Running time: 109 MIN.

With

John Wayne Richard Boone Maureen O'Hara Patrick Wayne Christopher Mitchum Bruce Cabot
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