Wayne and O'Hara pair up in many of the classic pieces, but this one may be their best effort together. Wayne plays the wiley and grizzled Jacob McCandles, estranged husband to Maureen's character, who oversees the McCandles ranch in Texas. A gang of banditos crosses the border from Mexico, staging the "infamous McCandles Raid" as the announcer terms it. Their grandson, played by Wayne's son Ethan, is kidnapped and held for ransom. He decides, along with his ex-wife, that he should be the one who makes the trip. Along the way Jacob and his two sons, James (James Wayne) and Michael (Chris Mitchum) struggle to understand their father, as he tries to keep both of them out of the cemetery. It is also during this trip, he finds out that kidnapped boy is named Jacob (called Little Jake) in his honor. The final, climactic battle between the McCandles and the Banditos includes the expected Wayne wit and guile that trademarks most of his pictures. Boone plays a great lead villain.
It is about time this film got a good remaster. The original prints were a little grainy, but to see this picture up close and personal really makes you feel like you are in that turn of the century Texas/Mexico border area, where banditos still ran free and vigilantes still had their place. Given that it doesn't rely on stop-motion effects, the film holds up rather well in it's improved state and could provide a surprise for someone who has not seen it before, with the plot, gun fights and even more jokes, gags and funny comments than you can shake a can of Yonkers Peaches at!