HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Big Jake Kidnapped!
Year: 1971
Director: George Sherman
Stars: John Wayne, Richard Boone, Patrick Wayne, Christopher Mitchum, Bruce Cabot, Bobby Vinton, Glenn Corbett, John Doucette, Maureen O'Hara, Jim Davis, John Agar, Harry Carey Jr, Gregg Palmer, Roy Jenson, Virginia Capers, Bill Walker, Hank Worden, Ethan Wayne
Genre: WesternBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 2 votes)
Review: The year is 1909, and in the civilised world progress is continuing apace, but in parts of the United States in the South and West there were still outlaws roaming around, and in Texas a band of marauders were striking terror into the hearts of law abiding folks throughout the land. This was led by Jim Fain (Richard Boone), a killer without conscience, but the whole gang of nine were formidable foes, proving this when they arrived at the McCandles ranch one morning and began shooting up the place, a massacre which only ended when they kidnapped a young boy...

But they're messing with the wrong family, because that little chap is the grandson of none other than John Wayne. Well, actually he was Ethan Wayne, the son of the Duke, but for the purposes of this Big Jake was the grandfather of Little Jake. Being one of the late period movies of this star, he managed to get a bunch of friends and relations together to make this, so Patrick Wayne was hired to play James, Big Jake's disrespectful son, apparently so they could have a scrap with each other every so often to define the concept of "tough love".

But the whole production had a tougher mood than much of what had gone before for Wayne, thanks to a not exactly smooth attempt, too often referred to in the story, to move with the times, and those times in that post-Wild Bunch atmosphere were loosening the censorship of what could be depicted on the screen with regards to violence. That opening massacre was bloodier than much else in the Wayne canon, for example, and the climactic shootout did its best to top it, with seemingly almost every member of the cast suffering a bullet wound before the credits rolled. Not to mention the huge bloke with the machete stalking about.

Actually our hero did not appear until about twenty minutes in, once we had the bloodbath and setting up of the kidnap plot out of the way, but now he had his fans knew they were in safe hands. The tone veered from square-jawed men's men knocking lumps out of each other to the kind of knockabout humour that was no less aggressive for being played with a supposedly lighter touch, not that you would have noticed. Once Fain's gang have taken off with the boy, they leave a ransom note behind asking for the Doctor Evil-reminscent one million dollars, which in 1909 must have been an astronomical amount of cash.

And probably impossible to raise at such short notice, which explains a late on twist. Mainly, though, Big Jake and his own team, who are pared down by the baddies' gunfire to pretty much him, his sons (including Christopher Mitchum, son of another screen icon) and Indian scout Bruce Cabot; they set off in hot pursuit to track down Fain, which turns out not to be too difficult as Fain is tracking them as well. In spite of those bursts of action, this was a laid back film as if Wayne had asked the audience round for a relaxing night of drinks and tall stories, which tended to go against the tension. In that suspense's favour, when yet another cast member falls by the wayside you're not sure who will survive to the end, but when you reach that you find you could have guessed anyway. Boone was a solid enough bad guy, but when Big Jake's wolf-like dog was stealing scenes from everyone this was not that distinguished apart from the violence. Music by Elmer Bernstein, recycling The Magnificent Seven.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4413 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: