Posted By on July 26, 2010 at 8:05 am

Back in 1971, my dad took me to see the only John Wayne movie I remember seeing in a movie theater — Big Jake. A few scenes from the movie have stuck with me through the years:

  • the posse making its way through the countryside in automobiles, with Jake McCandles’ son on a motorcycle in lieu of a horse;
  • the shower/shotgun scene;
  • the revelation of the contents of the strong box.

Certain visuals are bound to make lasting impressions, but over the years I’ve had equally strong recollections of what are likely to be the two most quotable bits of dialogue. Anyone with a passing familiarity with the history of American film ought to recognize:

John Fain (the villain): I thought you were dead.
Jacob ‘Big Jake’ McCandles: Not hardly.

Not just Fain; virtually every character in the movie says the same thing to McCandles.
And then, of course, there’s the most famous line in the film:

McCandles to Fain: And now you understand. Anything goes wrong, anything at all… your fault, my fault, nobody’s fault… it won’t matter – I’m gonna blow your head off. No matter what else happens, no matter who gets killed, I’m gonna blow your head off.

For many years, I couldn’t quote that verbatim, but I never forgot it. When I bought my first VCR at the PX in Korea in 1988, Big Jake was one of the first tapes I bought to go with it.
If you haven’t seen a John Wayne movie in a while, or haven’t seen much of his later work, you wouldn’t go far wrong with Big Jake.

This came to mind this morning as I watched McLintock! instead of sleeping, while waiting for an early morning visit from the Air Conditioning Fairy repair guy. Another great Wayne movie, definitely lighter fare, with the added bonus of the always gorgeous Maureen O’Hara.
And of course, it’s eminently quotable.

G. W. McLintock: I haven’t lost my temper in forty years, but pilgrim you caused a lot of trouble this morning, might have got somebody killed… and somebody oughta belt you in the mouth. But I won’t, I won’t. The hell I won’t!
[Proceeds to belt “pilgrim” in the mouth.]

John Wayne was the best.


One Response to “Pilgrim….”

  1. BRAD says:

    Nice to see you are no homophbe in your choice of AC service men.

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