->''"They wanted gold. He gave them lead instead!"''
-->'''--from [[TrailersAlwaysSpoil the promotional material]]'''

A 1971 [[TheWestern Western]] movie starring JohnWayne, Richard Boone, and Maureen O'Hara. In 1909, a gang of brutal ruffians led by John Fain (Boone) violently kidnaps the grandson of Martha [=McCandles=] (O'Hara), who runs a large and lucrative cattle ranching operation. When the thugs demand a ransom, Mrs. [=McCandles=] decides it is time to call in her long-lost husband, Jacob [=McCandles=] (Wayne)- a [[BadassGrandpa rough and unpleasant man]], to do a rough and unpleasant job.

Not one of [[JohnWayne The Duke]]'s most famous Westerns, it is an interesting treat for dedicated fans. Made relatively late in the careers of most of those involved, Wayne and his colleagues brought their many years of experience in making Westerns to bear on ''Big Jake'', resulting in a competently-made, easygoing, consistently entertaining film. In addition to older, experienced Western actors, the film also featured two of John Wayne's [[{{Nepotism}} real-life sons]], as well as the son of RobertMitchum. [[CrowningMusicofAwesome The score was pretty good too]].

Set in [[TheEdwardianEra 1909]], rather than the 19th century, like most Westerns, ''Big Jake'' deals tangentially with the closing of the American West and the ''end'' of the age of cowboy heroes like those played by John Wayne throughout his career. Automobiles, motorcycles, oil wells, and semi-automatic pistols all make appearances, and Jacob [=McCandles=] (as well as his Indian companion, Sam) are both old and grey, worn out by years of hard living.

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!!Tropes in this film include:

* ApronMatron: Martha [=McCandles=]
** With more than a bit of IronLady as well.
* BadassBoast: Several, but one in particular sticks out-
-->'''O'Brien:''' "They tell me you killed two good men in a fair fight tonight. That true?"\\
'''James:''' "No. ''Three'', counting you."
* BadassFamily: The [=McCandles=]s' are tougher than the Texas Rangers apparently
* BadassGrandpa: Jacob [=McCandles=] is a literal example of this trope.
* BatmanGambit: Big Jake needs to convince one of the kidnappers that one of the members of the ransom party has died, even though he is still alive. When the kidnapper demands to see the body, Jake tells him it is sitting in the jailhouse, with all the other dead bodies, knowing that the kidnapper (a career criminal) will be highly averse to going anywhere ''near'' a jailhouse.
* BigDamnHeroes: [[spoiler:The party that comes to ransom Little Jake instead just kills the kidnappers and takes him back without paying]].
* BystanderSyndrome: "I haven't interfered in anybody's business since I was eighteen year old... and it damn near got me killed."
* CantBatheWithoutAWeapon: There's a shower scene, and Jake knows someone's after him, so he keeps a shotgun in the shower. When the guy comes in to kill him, Jake has the shotgun in his hands and uses it to shoot through the thin wooden door of the shower stall.
* ChekhovsGun: Two actual ''guns'', in this case- Michael's telescoped long-distance rifle, and the semi-automatic pistol he gives to his brother, both of which are featured more as novelty items early in the film.
* ChekhovsSkill: Several. Michael's sharp-shooting, James' constant quick-draw practice, and others.
* CoolOldGuy: Jake [=McCandles=] is one, his Indian companion, Sam, is another. Both of them suffer from poor eyesight, fading hearing, and slower reflexes than they used to have, but they make up for it with skill and experience.
* DarkIsNotEvil: Dog is a huge black pooch, but closer to BigFriendlyDog than AngryGuardDog, given he attacks mostly on command.
* DeadpanSnarker: Big Jake, as per every JohnWayne character.
* ADogNamedDog: Played by one of {{Lassie}}'s offspring!
* EveryCarIsAPinto: At least one automobile explodes abruptly into flames.
* EvilDetectingDog: Jake's dog, simply named "Dog."
* FauxAffablyEvil: The Boone character.
* FriendlySniper: Michael.
* GoryDiscretionShot: Several, particularly involving [[MacheteMayhem the machete]].
* HeroicDog: Dog who is somehow able to figure out what Jacob [=McCandles=] wants him to do just from hearing his name called.
* HeroicSacrifice: [[spoiler: Sam and Dog]].
* IJustShotMarvinInTheFace: Big Jake casually sticks a derringer pistol into the front of his pants, pointing straight down to his groin. It probably wasn't loaded, but he doesn't actually bother to check. There is also a scene in which Michael [=McCandles=]' [[CoolGun fancy new semi-automatic pistol]] fires wildly out of control, causing all of the other members of the ransom party to dive for cover.
** The derringer is single action meaning the hammer needs to be cocked by hand. As it was not cocked, it wasn't really a danger.
* [[IHaveNoSon I Have No Husband]]. Said by Martha [=McCandles=] at one point... just before she decides to call on her husband.
* [[IHaveYourWife I Have Your Grandson]].
* KansasCityShuffle: Big Jake doesn't tell anybody that [[spoiler: the strongbox containing the "ransom money" actually contains nothing but newspaper clippings. His sons are rather miffed when they find out. The kidnappers [[OhCrap have rather a different reaction]].]].
* KensingtonGore: The blood in this film is bright red, and doesn't seem to come from any obvious wound.
* KickTheDog: Several. In one instance, a member of lynch mob gratuitously kicks a young boy, prompting Big Jake to get involved in the situation, when previously he had been suject to the BystanderSyndrome. There are also several examples involving the gang of kidnappers, the most egregious of which belong to the machete-wielding [[FatBastard overweight]] kidnapper. One of these [[spoiler: involves an actual dog]].
* LetsFightLikeGentlemen: O'Brien has his gun pointed at James' back, but instead of just shooting him, he [[spoiler: lets James turn around so they can have [[QuickDraw a quick-draw contest]]... [[DuelToTheDeath to the death]]]].
* MacheteMayhem: By the most odious and ObviouslyEvil of the kidnappers.
* MadeOfIron \ RasputinianDeath: The machete-wielding kidnapper is [[spoiler: attacked by an angry dog (twice!), shot with a pistol (also twice), stabbed in the stomach with a knife, and finally dies after being stabbed in the stomach with a pitchfork]].
* MemeticBadass: In-universe: it has been years since anyone heard of Jacob doing anything, let alone being badass. On discovering who he is, nobody ever takes the chance that he might not be anymore.
* OnlyAFleshWound: Many, many times. The only really realistic example is when Jacob's son James [[ForrestGump takes a barrel full of buckshot in the arse]].
* PapaWolf: Big Jake.
* ParentalAbandonment: Big Jake abandoned his wife and children many years before, and his son James is still sore about it.
* PhraseCatcher: "I thought you was dead." Possibly alluded to by ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'', made about 10 years later.
* {{Rancher}}: The [=McCandles=] ranch is run over by a gang of cutthroats.
* RetiredBadass: Jake [=McCandles=] appears to be this, though what, exactly, he is doing before his wife calls on him is not made entirely clear.
* ThickerThanWater: When little Jake is kidnapped, his grandfather and two of his uncles are the ones to come rescue him.
* ThrowAwayGuns: Big Jake does this at one point, but it is probably [[JustifiedTrope justified]]- out of ammo, he was aiming for his assailant, hoping to slow him down in a life-or-death situation and thereby buy himself enough time to finish the guy off. He would have been easily able to retrieve it, once the assailant had been dispatched.
* TwilightOfTheOldWest: Takes place in 1909 when automobiles are used to chase the bad guys.
* UnderestimatingBadassery: Like nearly everybody else in the movie (see PhraseCatcher above), the kidnappers assume that Jacob [=McCandles=] is ''dead''. It naturally never crosses their minds that he might be [[{{Determinator}} the one coming after them]]. Had they known he was alive, it's very likely they would have kidnapped ''somebody else's'' grandson. This may be a piece of FridgeBrilliance, actually, since it isn't until the very end that John Fain confirms that he, too, thought [=McCandles=] was dead.
* WouldHarmAChild: The kidnappers, who murder two children during their raid on the [=McCandles=]' ranch.
* [[YouSaidYouWouldLetThemGo You Said You Would Let Him Go]]: Actually [[spoiler: [[InvertedTrope inverted]]]] in this case.
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