Big Jake (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

Big Jake (1971)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Big Jake Photos

Movie Info

When Jake's grandson is kidnapped by scurrilous baddie Richard Boone, he sets out to deliver the $1 million ransom. On the off-chance that there'll be gunplay, Jake brings along his sons. In one of her most passive screen roles, Maureen O'Hara plays Jake's estranged wife.

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John Wayne
as Jacob McCandles
Richard Boone
as John Fain
Maureen O'Hara
as Martha McCandles
Patrick Wayne
as James McCandles
Christopher Mitchum
as Michael McCandles
Bobby Vinton
as Jeff McCandles
Bruce Cabot
as Sam Sharpnose
Ethan Wayne
as Little Jake
Harry Carey Jr.
as Pop Dawson
Jim Burk
as Trooper
John Doucette
as Buck Dugan
Jim Davis
as Head of Lynching Party
John Agar
as Bert Ryan
Gregg Palmer
as John Goodfellow
Robert Warner
as Will Fain
Jim Burke
as Trooper
Dean Smith
as Kid Duffy
Bill Walker
as Moses Brown
Tom Hennessy
as Saloon Brawler
Don Epperson
as Saloon Bully
Everett Creach
as Walt Devries
Jeff Wingfield
as Billy Devries
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Critic Reviews for Big Jake

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

Not only jolly exciting, it even manages to contrive a plot that keeps you guessing.

June 8, 2020 | Full Review…

A mildly entertaining story of kidnap and ransom foiled by Big John that sags hopelessly when it comes to the big shoot-out.

June 8, 2020 | Full Review…

It flies in the face of Wayne's hypocritical statements at the time abhorring the new levels of sex and violence in American cinema.

May 29, 2021 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A second rate Western, more interesting for its biographical elements, the film co-stars Wayne's own son as well as sons of Robert Mitchum and other friends, all getting the usual lessons in macho morality.

November 2, 2007 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Wayne gets little help from anyone else but Boone and can't pull off such a slight story line by his lonesome.

January 6, 2006 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

Very enjoyable, underrated western.

June 6, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Big Jake

This is a little like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid with themes of the passing of the ways of the old west. It is set in the early 1900s. Automobiles and motorcycles are taking over as preferred modes of transportation. Wayne reunites with O'Hara briefly, too briefly. She only appears in the opening scenes. John Wayne's real son Patrick plays one rebellious son. Robert Michum's real son Christopher plays the other motocycle riding son. John Wayne is especially macho and stuck in his generation's way of relating to the younger generation who want to try new things. Of course since Wayne is the star and a producer, his character wins the day by stubbornly sticking to what he knows, putting the young men in their place as spoiled kids with tantrums and toys, and beating the outlaws.

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer


Altho ostensibly about the Duke chasing greedy, unscrupulous kidnappers (with Richard Boone the leering leader of despicable baddies), this tale mainly involves an errant father's careful rebonding with his distrustful offspring ... and the Duke's folksy charm does just that, after a few butt-kicking fistfights and a coupla shootouts, naturally.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

This might be my favorite movie by the Duke.

Sean Gillespie
Sean Gillespie

Super Reviewer

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