IMDb > Jesse James (1939)
Jesse James
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Jesse James (1939) More at IMDbPro »

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Jesse James -- The legend of Jesse James stars Tyrone Power as the most infamous bandit in the history of the West. Jesse James was a young Missouri farmer forced outside the law after ruthless agents for the transcontinental railroad kill his ailing mother and steal his family's land.

Overview

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7.1/10   2,817 votes »
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Up 13% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Nunnally Johnson (original screen play)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Jesse James on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 January 1939 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
The Epic Story of the most Colourful Outlaw who ever lived See more »
Plot:
After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Special cast, special movie, just don't expect a history lesson. See more (45 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Tyrone Power ... Jesse James

Henry Fonda ... Frank James

Nancy Kelly ... Zerelda (Zee)

Randolph Scott ... Will Wright

Henry Hull ... Major Rufus Cobb

Slim Summerville ... Jailer
J. Edward Bromberg ... Mr. Runyan

Brian Donlevy ... Barshee

John Carradine ... Bob Ford

Donald Meek ... Mc Coy
Johnny Russell ... Jesse James Jr. (as John Russell)

Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Samuels
Charles Tannen ... Charles Ford
Claire Du Brey ... Mrs. Bob Ford
Willard Robertson ... Clarke
Harold Goodwin ... Bill
Ernest Whitman ... Pinkie
Eddy Waller ... Deputy
Paul E. Burns ... Hank (as Paul Burns)
Spencer Charters ... Minister
Arthur Aylesworth ... Tom Colson

Charles Middleton ... Doctor
Charles Halton ... Heywood
George Chandler ... Roy
Harry Tyler ... Farmer
Virginia Brissac ... Boy's Mother
Edward LeSaint ... Judge Rankin (as Ed Le Saint)
John Elliott ... Judge Mathews
Erville Alderson ... Old Marshall
George P. Breakston ... Farmer Boy (as George Breakston)

Lon Chaney Jr. ... One Of James Gang
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Carol Adams ... Minor Role (uncredited)

Donald Douglas ... Infantry Captain (uncredited)
James Flavin ... Cavalry Captain (uncredited)
Sam Garrett ... Rider / Roper (uncredited)
Wylie Grant ... Barshee's Henchman (uncredited)
Harry Holman ... Engineer (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... Union Soldier (uncredited)
Leonard Kibrick ... Boy (uncredited)
Sidney Kibrick ... Boy (uncredited)
Ethan Laidlaw ... Barshee's Henchman (uncredited)
Tom London ... Soldier (uncredited)

George O'Hara ... Teller (uncredited)
Paul Sutton ... Lynch - Barshee's Henchman (uncredited)

Directed by
Henry King 
Irving Cummings (uncredited)
 
Writing credits
Nunnally Johnson (original screen play)

Gene Fowler  contributing writer (uncredited)
Curtis Kenyon  contributing writer (uncredited)
Hal Long  story contributor (uncredited)

Produced by
Nunnally Johnson .... associate producer
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
Ben Silvey .... associate producer (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
George Barnes (photography)
W. Howard Greene (photography) (as W.H. Greene)
 
Film Editing by
Barbara McLean  (as Barbara Mc Lean)
 
Art Direction by
William S. Darling  (as William Darling)
George Dudley 
 
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little (set decorations)
 
Costume Design by
Royer (costumes)
 
Makeup Department
Robert Cowan .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Buddy King .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Ray Lopez .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Ben Nye .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Webster C. Phillips .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Doris Rowland .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Dot Snyder .... body makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Sid Bowen .... unit manager (uncredited)
William Koenig .... production manager (uncredited)
V.L. McFadden .... production manager (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Otto Brower .... second unit director (uncredited)
Hal Herman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Robert D. Webb .... assistant director (uncredited)
Henry Weinberger .... assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Joe Behm .... props (uncredited)
G.L. Cooper .... painter (uncredited)
Charles Fremdling .... props (uncredited)
Tom Gillette .... carpenter (uncredited)
L. Paul Haines .... carpenter (uncredited)
Frank E. Hughes .... set dresser (uncredited)
Frank Patterson .... carpenter (uncredited)
Jack Stubbs .... props (uncredited)
Al Withers .... carpenter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Arthur von Kirbach .... sound
Hal Lombard .... boom operator (uncredited)
Jack Miller .... cable person (uncredited)
Roy Potts .... boom operator (uncredited)
W.R. Snyder .... assistant sound (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
William F. Mittlestedt .... photographic effects (uncredited)
Ben Southland .... photographic effects (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Cliff Lyons .... stunt double: Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Charles Bohny .... assistant camera (uncredited)
A.C. Bumpus .... additional grip (uncredited)
James Cairns .... electrician (uncredited)
Duke Callaghan .... camera technician: Technicolor (uncredited)
Robert Campbell .... electrician (uncredited)
R.M. Harmon .... additional grip (uncredited)
J. James .... electrician (uncredited)
W. Harry Jones .... additional grip (uncredited)
Wendell Jones .... additional grip (uncredited)
Phil Mandella .... additional grip (uncredited)
W. Nugent .... electrician (uncredited)
Hugh C. Peck .... additional grip (uncredited)
Jack Percy .... head grip (uncredited)
Edward Petzoldt .... gaffer (uncredited)
Robert A. Petzoldt .... best boy electric (uncredited)
R. Pipes .... generator operator (uncredited)
Frank Powolny .... still photographer (uncredited)
C.E. Richardson .... second grip (uncredited)
Irving Rosenberg .... camera operator (uncredited)
William Russell .... generator operator (uncredited)
Gordon Sandsberry .... electrician (uncredited)
Sheridan Smith .... generator operator (uncredited)
W. Stewart .... electrician (uncredited)
Paul Uhl .... film loader: Technicolor (uncredited)
S. Warn .... electrician (uncredited)
Paul Woods .... electrician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eddie Armand .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Steve Brandt .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Ollie Hughes .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Josephine Perrin .... wardrobe (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
Richard Billings .... assistant cutter (uncredited)
Robert Fritch .... assistant cutter (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Louis Silvers .... musical director
Cyril J. Mockridge .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Alfred Newman .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Louis Silvers .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Jo Frances James .... historical data assembler
Natalie Kalmus .... Technicolor color director
Rosalind Schaeffer .... historical data assembler
Teresa Brachetto .... script clerk (uncredited)
Edwin H. Curtis .... dialogue director (uncredited)
Paul Hill .... assistant: Technicolor (uncredited)
Henri Jaffa .... associate technicolor color director (uncredited)
Max Larey .... script clerk (uncredited)
R.C. Moore .... location manager (uncredited)
Joe Noecker .... technician: Technicolor (uncredited)
Cliff Shirpser .... assistant: Technicolor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Darryl F. Zanuck's Production of Jesse James" - UK (complete title), USA (complete title)
See more »
Runtime:
106 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:G | Finland:K-16 | Norway:16 | Spain:13 | UK:U (passed with cuts) | USA:Approved (certificate #4590) | West Germany:12 (f)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
After the two horses that were blindfolded and forced to go over a cliff were killed, a new rule was enforced and later endorsed by The Humane Society of America in which strict standards were created to protect Animal Actors in which at the end of the movie and added to the credits listed as "No Animals Were Harmed or Injured in the Production of this Film...". Now all films involving any Animal Actors must have present a member representing The Humane Society of America to insure that all animals are treated humanly and given a safe environment in which to work.See more »
Goofs:
Crew or equipment visible: After they get Jesse out of jail, in the head-on shot of Frank and Jesse riding while being chased by the posse, road dust from the camera truck is visible ahead of them.See more »
Quotes:
[Jesse and Zee have come to the church to get married - the minister and the congregation react when he says he's Jesse James]
Jesse Woodson James:We don't want no trouble.
Minister:Trouble? Why, son, you're as welcome as rain to the flowers. Do you realize, boy, that I had a farm giving nine hundred bushels of corn... until that railroad had taken it from me? Why, I'd given up preaching... and was making an honest living off of the land, until that dad-swinged railroad swindled me out of my own home. By golly, son, do you know I had a big house... two barns... three outhouses... until that gold-danged railroad hornswoggled me!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Hollywood Hobbies (1939)See more »
Soundtrack:
Oh SusannaSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
10 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Special cast, special movie, just don't expect a history lesson., 20 January 2009
Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom

We are at the time of the Iron Horse birth, the railroads are buying out the farm land at ridiculously low prices, even resorting to bully tactics to get the signature rights. When one particularly nasty railroad agent tries his strong arm tactics on the mother of the James brothers, he gets more than he bargained for. In an act of almost vengeful negligence, the agent causes the death of Mrs James and thus sets the wheels in motion for what was to become folklore notoriety, Jesse James, his brother Frank, and a gang of seemingly loyal thieves, went on to etch their names in outlaw history.

There is no getting away from the fact that history tells us that this is a highly fictionalised account of Jesse James and his exploits. What we are given here by director Henry King and his screenwriter Nunally Johnson, is a more romanticised look at the legend of the man himself; which sure as heck fire makes for one dandy and enjoyable watch. The cast is one to savour, Tyrone Power (Jesse James), Henry Fonda (Frank James), Randolph Scott (Will Wright), Brian Donlevy (Barshee) and John Carradine (Bob Ford) all line up to entertain the masses with fine results, with Fonda possibly owing his subsequent career to his appearance here. He would return a year later in the successful sequel The Return Of Frank James and subsequently go on to greater and more rewarding projects. Power of course would go on and pick up the trusty blade and start swishing away, a career beckoned for this matinée idol for sure, but it's nice to revisit this particular picture to see that Power could indeed be an actor of note, capable of some emotional depth instead of making Jesse just another outlawish thug. If the makers have made the character too "heroic" then that's for debate, it's one of the many historical "itches" that have irked historians over the years. But Power plays it as such and it works very well.

One of the film's main strengths is the pairing of Power and Fonda, very believable as a kinship united in ideals, with both men expertly handled by the reliable Henry King. The Technicolor from Howard Greene and George Barnes is wonderfully put to good use here, splendidly capturing the essence of the time with eye catching results. While the film itself has a fine action quota, gun play and galloping horses all feature throughout, and the characterisations of the main players lend themselves to pulse raising sequences. To leave us with what? A highly accomplished Western picture that ends in the way that history has showed it should-whilst the rest of the film is flimsy history at best? Yes. But ultimately it really doesn't matter if one is after some Western entertainment, because for sure this picture scores high in that regard. 8/10

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