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

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Overview

User Rating:
7.1/10   2,596 votes »
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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:
Entertaining over-wrought Hollywood claptrap! See more (43 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)
Bobby Petzoldt .... best boy electric (uncredited)
Edward Petzoldt .... gaffer (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)
Filming Locations:

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:
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:
Engineer:What you aimin' to do, pardner?
Jesse Woodson James:I ain't aimin' to do nuthin'. I'm doin' it. I'm holdin' up this train.
Engineer:The whole train?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Dudes (1987)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Battle Cry of FreedomSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
9 out of 12 people found the following review useful.
Entertaining over-wrought Hollywood claptrap!, 23 May 2009
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida

Of all the films Hollywood made during the golden years, my least favorite were ones that played very fast and loose with the facts about the Old West. And, of all the Westerns, those about Jesse James as well as the gunfight at the OK Corral are the worst. Think of it from my point of view. I am an American history teacher and for some bizarre reason, I like my historical films to actually bear some semblance to what actually occurred!!

JESSE JAMES, like all these other films, is a historical nightmare from start to finish. The life of this evil killer and thief is practically impossible to discern in this silly but entertaining film from 20th Century-Fox Studios. Instead of a bad man, according to the film, he is unfairly pushed to a life of crime by an evil railroad AND he and his brother, Frank, are good boys at heart!! With such stupid revisionism, we should soon expect to see films where Hitler, Lee Harvey Oswald and Jeffrey Dahmer are heroes!! There are tons more mistakes about the characters--but simply too many to bother mentioning. In fact, what is NOT wrong would be quicker and easier to discuss!! Additionally, there are just every cliché known to Westerns, such as the shootout ("count three and fire"), Frank giving the town an ultimatum to give him back Jesse by midnight "or else", happy and intensely loyal Black servants, the Robin Hood-like quality of the gang (though at least they showed how eventually he became more of a hardened criminal), the death of Frank and Jesse's momma pushing them to crime, Henry Hull's character from start to finish as well as his comments like "Jesse played fair" and "he was one of the gol-dangedest gol-darnestest buckaroos"!

As for the non-historical aspects of the film, there is a lot to like. The film is shot in glorious Technicolor and the camera work is incredible. I especially loved the extremely difficult shot of the nighttime raid on the train--the moving external shot was NOT an easy thing to do and it looked great. Additionally, being an A-picture from the studio, the cast was spectacular--Tyrone Power (Jesse), Henry Fonda (Frank), Henry Hull (playing a role much like you might expect Walter Brennan to usually play), Randolph Scott, Jane Darwell, Donald Meek and Brian Donlevy make for an excellent cast. And, I must admit the film was fun to watch if you could care less about the facts and just want to be entertained. Unfortunately, for folks like me, it's a chore to watch even a well-made film if it's so historically inaccurate.

By the way, it should also be mentioned that according to the IMDb trivia section, this film should be remembered for its total disregard for the welfare of the horses during filming. In exciting scenes, horses actually died to make the shots look good and although I am NOT a bleeding-heart, I just can't help but be appalled with this disregard for the animals. Not surprisingly, this film led to changes in the industry to protect animals in future films.

Was the above review useful to you?
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