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Jesse James (1939)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,663 users  
Reviews: 44 user | 18 critic

After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

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, (uncredited)

Writer:

(original screen play)
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Title: Jesse James (1939)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Jailer
J. Edward Bromberg ...
...
Barshee
...
...
Johnny Russell ...
Jesse James Jr. (as John Russell)
...
Charles Tannen ...
Claire Du Brey ...
Mrs. Bob Ford
Willard Robertson ...
Clarke
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Storyline

The railroads are squeezing farmers off their land. When a railroad agent kills their mother, Frank and Jesse James take up robbing banks and trains. The public regard them as heroes. When Jesse retires his erstwhile friend Robert Ford shoots him in the back to get the reward. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

railroad | train | bank | farmer | reward | See All (92) »

Taglines:

Motion Pictures' Supreme Epic ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 January 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Darryl F. Zanuck's Production of Jesse James  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While shooting his role in the Ozarks, Lon Chaney Jr. fell off his horse during a chase and was trampled by the horse behind him. He was not injured badly - he managed to finish his scenes that day. But director Henry King, blaming Chaney's nightly drinking for the mishap, fired him, and he was dropped by his studio (20th Century Fox.) See more »

Goofs

When Frank breaks Jesse out of jail, it's clear that the action is taking place at night. The note mentions 12 and the characters repeatedly say "tonight" "before this night is over", etc, but when Jesse and Frank emerge from the jail it is broad daylight. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[about Jesse James]
Major Rufus Cobb: He was one of the doggonedest, gawl-dingedest, dad-blamedest buckaroos that ever rode across these United States of America!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: After the tragic war between the states, America turned to the winning of the West. The symbol of this era was the building of the trans-continental railroads.

The advance of the railroads was, in some cases, predatory and unscrupulous. Whole communities found themselves victimized by an ever-growing ogre - the Iron Horse.

It was this uncertain and lawless age that gave to the world, for good or ill, its most famous outlaws, the brothers Frank and Jesse James. See more »

Connections

Featured in Biography: The Fondas (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Susanna
(1846) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played on harmonica offscreen by prisoner Jesse James in jail
Sung a cappella by Nancy Kelly and Tyrone Power with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Robin Hood of the West
12 July 2006 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

The first western shot in color focuses more on mythology than facts of this famous outlaw. Tyrone Power in the lead role shows acting abilities not seen in his previous movies,and delivers an intense portrayal of Jesse James. Underplaying his part as Frank James to great effect, Henry Fonda steals the movie.Although a supporting part he's missed in the scenes his not in. Randolph Scott as the marshal delivers one of his best performances. Nancy Kelly makes a beautiful love interest for Power. Henry Hull's crusading editor is fun to watch. The movie is wonderful to look at and one of the great westerns.I hope this classic western will be out on DVD soon.


15 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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