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The Return of Frank James (1940)

Approved | | Crime, History, Western | 16 August 1940 (USA)
Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse.

Director:

Writer:

(original screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Clem
...
...
...
...
Eddie Collins ...
Station Agent
...
Judge
...
Prosecutor
Ernest Whitman ...
...
...
Randolph Stone
Victor Kilian ...
Preacher
Edward McWade ...
Colonel Jackson
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Storyline

Frank James, the brother of Jesse James, has been laying low, living as a farmer and taking care of Clem, the son of one of the members of the James gang. He gets word that Jesse was killed by Bob and Charlie Ford, he hoped that the law would deal with them but when he learns that the railroad man whom he and Jesse terrorized contracted them to kill Jesse and helped them get off, he goes after them. Clem whom he told to remain on the farm goes with him and when it's impossible for him to do so, Frank has no choice to let him tag along. Now in order to cover their tracks they start telling people that Frank James is dead and that they saw it. Eleanor Stone, a female reporter, who wants to write about it interviews them and they are both taken with each other. But eventually she learns who Frank is from the Pinkerton detective who is tracking them but doesn't turn them in. But eventually Frank learns that his farm hand, Pinky has been arrested as his accomplice and is about to be hung. ... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Even greater than Jesse James. See more »

Genres:

Crime | History | Western

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le retour de Frank James  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jackie Cooper and Matthew "Stymie" Beard shared the same screen for the first time since their last appearances together in Bargain Day (1931) (as Hal Roach's Rascals). See more »

Quotes

Maj. Rufus Cobb: Now read it back to me, Roy.
Roy: "If we are ever going to have law and order in this part of the country, we got to take vipers like those Fords and that slimy railroad detective Runyon and shoot 'em down like dogs."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Old Ironsides March
(uncredited)
Music by Hugo Riesenfeld
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User Reviews

 
This is just a western, not a history lesson.
3 November 1999 | by (Jacksonville, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

Don't allow the fact that this film is pure fiction (aside from the murder of Jesse by Robert Ford) to mar your enjoyment of it as a bang-up good revenge western. Just as in JESSE JAMES, the writers here preferred to stick to the things that never happened! There is plenty of truth in the background, though, depicting the rapaciousness of the burgeoning railroad industry and the yankee carpetbaggers. As to what really happened to Frank and Bob, the facts about Bob are just as dramatic as the fiction of this film. Frank did retire from crime, surrendered to the law after Jesse's murder and was either never charged, or was acquitted of complicity in Jesse's many crimes. He tried various things, including farming, and a short stint as a "floor walker" in Sanger Brothers department store in Dallas, Texas. Apparently he died with his boots "off". "Little Robert Ford" did go into show business, dramatizing how he shot down the dangerous outlaw bravely in a showdown gunfight(!). Eventually, he wound up as the owner of a saloon in Creed, Colorado. Here he was murdered much the same way he had murdered Jesse (in the back) by a man who held a grudge against him. Some say the man did it in revenge for Jesse's murder, but that is likely just speculation. Gene Tierney and the scenery are beautifully photographed in gorgeous technicolor throughout.


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