One of my favorite westerns of all time. This was John Wayne at his best. One of the BatJac movies, which was the production company owned by John Wayne in conjunction with his sons, Wayne portrays the hero as more of a cartoon figure than a three dimensional person. Wayne always understood that the sillier and more cartoonish his characters played, the more enjoyable the movie would be.
Big Jake McCandles is on the trail of bandits in this action drama that stretches from Texas to Mexico. It’s 1909, and the Old West is giving way to modern times. When the outlaw gang led by vicious John Fain raids Jake’s ranch and kidnaps his 8-year-old grandson, Jake’s wife, whom he hasn’t seen in 18 years, sends for her husband to rescue the boy. While the law gives chase in rickety automobiles, Jake saddles up with an Indian scout, a faithful dog, and a box of money. But paying ransom isn’t Jake’s idea of good old frontier justice.
The movie also stars Patrick Wayne, portraying the son of his father’s character, which may not seem like a big stretch. Actually, Patrick Wayne turned into a fine character actor with his own reputation. As you’ll see in this movie, he’s one of the few in Wayne’s movies who is not stiff. Richard Boone as the bad guy is absolutely the best.