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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 <email@example.com>
Prospero's soliloquy in The Tempest closes with "We are such stuff As dreams are made on...," which signifies the ephemeral nature of things wished for and never realized. This line was appropriated by Humphrey Bogart's character Sam Spade in the Maltese Falcon when he says "That's the stuff dreams are made of," and was suggested to director John Huston by Bogart while the characters are unwrapping the bogus Maltese Falcon in the final scene. This parallel is echoed in the final scene, when Jacob McCandles says the same thing as John Fain is opening a bogus chest full of "newspaper clippings" instead of one million dollars. See more »
Before the Rangers set out after the kidnappers, Michael tells them that they are 5 hours away. He does not refuel his motorcycle before they leave. Presumably there are no gasoline stations along the way, and no extra fuel is seen being carried. They should have run out of gas a long time before reaching the bad guys. See more »
Boy mean anything to you?
Jacob 'Big Jake' McCandles:
Never laid eyes on em. But I'm being paid to bring em back alive or you dead. Each and everyone of you. Now I'd rather bring the boy back that's easier. But when it comes right down to it don't matter to me I'll earn my pay one way or the other. Now how about you? Are you the Big Chief or one of the little Indians?
Oh just a little Indian just a messenger boy.
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Mark this down as a very entertaining western with more realistic gunfight scenes than most films, meaning the good guys get shot as well as the villains. John Wayne's "The Searchers," a very similar movie story-wise, gets a lot better press than this film but "Big Jake" is just as good, if not better.
To be fair, while the gunfights in here were well done, the fistfights were an insult. Whenever someone got slugged, such as Wayne belting his kids, it had no effect on them, except just to knock them down for a second or two. In real life, folks, chances are you will knocked unconscious if you are hit in the face, especially by a powerful man like Wayne. This has been a ludicrous fact-of-life, however, in all films for 100 years, not just here.
Other than that, the film is a straight hard-nosed one with Wayne and adversary Richard Boone both fascinating. The dialog between the two was especially fun to hear. Too bad there wasn't more of it. Boone did not have enough lines in this film. Wayne's real-life sons in this film didn't impress me with their acting but they weren't horrible either.
Bruce Cabot was a hoot as an old Indian friend of Wayne's. As with most westerns, there is some nice scenery so if you have the opportunity, watch this on widescreen DVD. It was nice-looking movie.
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