Stars John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Richard Boone!
Jacob “Big Jake” McCandles didn’t earn his nickname just because his grandson is called “Little” Jake. Big Jake is big in every way. He’s brash, brave, and when it comes to his businesses, land dealings and ranching, he drives a hard bargain. Sure, he’s rough around the edges, quick to lash out in temper and hard-headed, but he owes much of his success to his larger-than-life personality and bullish reputation.
“You’re short on ears and long on mouth!” – Big Jake
Needless to say, he’s not an easy man to live with. So it’s no surprise he and wife, Martha, are hardly on good terms. With all of his business dealings, it’s easy for Big Jake to avoid spending much time at home with Martha and their sons, Michael and James. But now he has no choice but to return home. Martha sent word that the ranch has been raided. Little Jake has been kidnapped and is being held by the notorious gang leader, John Fain for a one million dollar ransom. Think what Martha might about her estranged husband, she knows there’s only one man brave enough to confront the ruthless gang leader, and that’s Big Jake. If there’s any chance of seeing Little Jake alive again, Big Jake is the man to bring him home.
Being an absentee father for so many years, Big Jake receives a cool reception from his grown sons, Michael and James. It’s 1909, and when the sheriff gets a posse together to go after John and his cutthroat gang, he uses the latest and fastest automobiles available. James is a quick-on-the-draw gunslinger, and Michael is an accurate sharpshooter, happier aboard his motorcycle than a horse. They’re quick to join the sheriff’s posse.
Big Jake saddles up his horse, and accompanied by his faithful dog, takes off alone into the rough terrain, on the hunt for John Fain. Along the way, he meets up with his good friend, Native American, Sam Sharpnose, who brings supplies and extra horses.
Meanwhile, the gang knows they’re being pursued, and they lay a trap for the sheriff and his posse. After a gunfight, the sheriff’s cars are destroyed, and the men must either continue on horseback or give up. James and Michael join their father, not out of respect, but for the sake of Little Jake.
Now, John Fain has made contact, demanding that Big Jake bring the strongbox with the money to the next town on the road, where a festival is being held. Big Jake agrees, but, just as he negotiates in business, he’s going to play it his way, and this “meeting” won’t go down without a fight.
Did You Know?
Sons of the Fathers
John Wayne’s sons, Patrick and Ethan star in Big Jake, and son Michael produced. Christopher Mitchum, son of actor Robert Mitchum also stars.
Does the ranch house in Big Jake look familiar? It should! It’s the same house they used for another John Wayne film: Chisum.