John Wayne Estate Announces Celebration for 50th Anniversary of ‘Big Jake’ Release

by Chris Haney
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On Monday afternoon, Hollywood legend John Wayne’s estate once again promoted their upcoming 50th anniversary celebration of his 1971 classic western Big Jake.

Five decades ago, The Duke’s long and storied acting career was beginning to wind down as he starred in the 1971 film directed by George Sherman. Only five years later, Wayne would hang up his spurs in his final starring role in 1976’s The Shootist. It closed the book on his iconic 50-year acting career, which included features in 169 movies.

Likewise, Big Jake‘s director ended his long career behind the camera with the 1971 western. Sherman had already worked with John Wayne on multiple classic western films, but they paired up one last time. Even though critics reported mixed reviews, Big Jake raked in $7.5 million in the US alone. That may not be much by today’s standards. But for 1971, $7.5 million made it one of the most successful films of the year.

With 2021 being Big Jake‘s 50th anniversary, John Wayne’s estate has a special tribute in store. They’re reuniting some of the original cast, which includes two of The Duke’s sons – Patrick and Ethan Wayne. Patrick played James MCCandles and Ethan starred as Little Jake alongside their famous father.

In addition, another Hollywood legend Robert Mitchum’s son, Christopher Mitchum, plays the role of Michael McCandles. All three men are coming back together on Wednesday to celebrate all things Big Jake.

“Join us November 3rd for a LIVE panel celebrating the 50th anniversary of the release of Big Jake with 3 of the film’s stars; Patrick Wayne, Ethan Wayne, and Chris Mitchum! Tickets benefit the John Wayne Cancer Foundation,” John Wayne’s official account wrote.

John Wayne’s Estate Teases ‘Big Jake’ Reunion With Classic Clip of the Movie

Just last week, John Wayne’s Instagram page shared another reminder of their upcoming 50th anniversary event. The account posted a classic clip from the 1971 movie as a teaser for the event.

The movie follows the McCandles family who band together to return Big Jake’s kidnapped grandson. John Wayne’s title role character is accompanied by his sons who set out to deliver the kidnappers’ ransom. Yet little do they know that the McCandles clan has no intention of actually paying the ransom without a fight.

The special event will occur in Fort Worth, Texas on Nov. 3 with a pre-reception cocktail hour. The event will also hold a live panel interview with Patrick Wayne, Ethan Wayne, and Christopher Mitchum. You can get more information and buy tickets to the 50th anniversary event here.

“‘Not hardly.’ Never underestimate Jacob McCandles… or the whole McCandles family. Join us November 3rd for the McCandles Family Reunion! A live panel featuring Patrick Wayne, Ethan Wayne, and Chris Mitchum,” John Wayne’s official Instagram account wrote.

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