The film begins with a raid on the McCandles Ranch where Little Jake McCandles (Ethan Wayne, the Duke's youngest son, named for the character he played in "The Searchers") is kidnapped by a gang of cutthroats led by John Fain (Richard Boone). Fain demands a ransom to be delivered across the border in Mexico. The Texas Rangers are willing to do it, but Martha McCandles (Maureen O'Hara), the boy's grandmother, announces that this is a disagreeable task and needs to be done by a disagreeable man. At this point the came cuts to a close up of John Wayne peering down the barrel of a rifle. It is a great introduction to Wayne's character in the film and a fitting counterpart to the moment in "Stagecoach" when we first see the Ringo Kid and his Winchester.Read more ›
It is 1909, the old West is quickly passing away, there are oil derricks all over the Texas horizon. The Duke plays "Jacob McCandles", a man exiled from his home "spread" for eighteen years. His estranged wife, played by O'Hara, sends him an urgent message: their little grandson has been kidnapped, come home, pronto!
The Duke arrives riding his ol' horse and carrying his familiar Colt 45. His sons (played by real life son Patrick and Chris Mitchum, and Bobby Vinton!) do not know him, except by reputation. Two of them accompany him on his man hunt. Duke is carrying one million dollars ransom money aboard an old mule. The sheriff and Texas rangers want to join the posse, but Big Jake demurs, so they set out in their newfangled automobiles to parallel his track and meet up with him later. Meet up they do, but the cars are not as durable as Duke's horse and he leaves them stranded to walk home. Also, the younger son, a "gadget freak", rides an early motorcycle, carries an automatic pistol, and a scoped rifle.
Duke and his sons are accompanied by one of the most savvy Indian scouts ever seen on the silver screen, "Sam Sharpnose", well portrayed by Bruce Cabot.
Led by lead villain Richard Boone, there are nine bandits to four pursuers... who will win in the inevitable confrontation?Read more ›