IMDb > The Return of Frank James (1940)
The Return of Frank James
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The Return of Frank James (1940) More at IMDbPro »

The Return of Frank James -- In this sequel to Jesse James, Frank has given up his life of crime for that of farming, but when he finds that his brother's killer, Ford, has been freed he sets out to exact revenge.


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6.7/10   2,071 votes »
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Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Sam Hellman (original screenplay)
View company contact information for The Return of Frank James on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
16 August 1940 (USA) See more »
Even greater than Jesse James. See more »
Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
(6 articles)
The Grandmaster – The Review
 (From 29 August 2013, 5:40 PM, PDT)

Your Vote Counts! 20th Century Fox Brings Classic Films to Blu-ray
 (From Scorecard Review. 15 January 2013, 8:31 AM, PST)

Daily Briefing. Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism 3
 (From MUBI. 24 December 2011, 4:24 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
good follow up to Jesse James See more (34 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Henry Fonda ... Frank James

Gene Tierney ... Eleanor Stone

Jackie Cooper ... Clem

Henry Hull ... Major Rufus Cobb

John Carradine ... Bob Ford
J. Edward Bromberg ... George Runyan

Donald Meek ... McCoy
Eddie Collins ... Station Agent
George Barbier ... Judge
Russell Hicks ... Prosecutor
Ernest Whitman ... Pinky
Charles Tannen ... Charlie Ford
Lloyd Corrigan ... Randolph Stone
Victor Kilian ... Preacher
Edward McWade ... Colonel Jackson
George Chandler ... Roy
Irving Bacon ... Bystander
Frank Shannon ... Sheriff

Barbara Pepper ... Nellie Blane
Louis Mason ... Watchman
Matthew 'Stymie' Beard ... Mose (as Stymie Beard)
William Pawley ... Actor
Frank Sully ... Actor
Davison Clark ... Officer (as Davidson Clark)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Battier ... Frank James in Play (uncredited)
A.S. 'Pop' Byron ... Train Engineer (uncredited)
Kernan Cripps ... Deputy (uncredited)
Rube Dalroy ... Juror (uncredited)

Lester Dorr ... Reporter (uncredited)

Tex Driscoll ... Play Spectator (uncredited)
Edmund Elton ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)
Budd Fine ... Deputy (uncredited)
Almeda Fowler ... Mrs. Edna Stone (uncredited)
Slim Gaut ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Sherry Hall ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee ... Reporter (uncredited)

Kermit Maynard ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Eric Mayne ... Saloon Patron (uncredited)
Nelson McDowell ... Confederate Veteran Juror (uncredited)
Robert McKenzie ... Old Man on Rocker (uncredited)
Lew Meehan ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Frank Melton ... Reporter (uncredited)
Adrian Morris ... Denver Detective (uncredited)
James C. Morton ... Liberty Bartender (uncredited)
Hattie Noel ... Denver House Chambermaid (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Denver House Bartender (uncredited)
Tex Phelps ... Front-Row Play Spectator (uncredited)
Russ Powell ... Juror (uncredited)
Allen D. Sewall ... Old Timer (uncredited)
Cap Somers ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Dale Van Sickel ... Reporter (uncredited)
Lillian Yarbo ... Eleanor's Maid (uncredited)

Directed by
Fritz Lang 
Writing credits
Sam Hellman (original screenplay)

Produced by
Kenneth Macgowan .... associate producer
Darryl F. Zanuck .... producer
Original Music by
David Buttolph (uncredited)
Cinematography by
George Barnes (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Walter Thompson 
Art Direction by
Richard Day 
Wiard Ihnen  (as Wiard B. Ihnen)
Set Decoration by
Thomas Little 
Makeup Department
Louis Hippe .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Ben Silvey .... production manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Hal Herman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Aaron Rosenberg .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Joe Behm .... props (uncredited)
Fred Smith .... props (uncredited)
Sound Department
W.D. Flick .... sound
Roger Heman Sr. .... sound (as Roger Heman)
Special Effects by
Larry Chapman .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
William V. Skall .... associate director of photography
Frank Corey .... grip (uncredited)
George Dye .... technician: Technicolor (uncredited)
George Dye .... technicolor technician (uncredited)
Kenneth Green .... camera operator (uncredited)
Charlie Hall .... grip (uncredited)
Wendell Jones .... grip (uncredited)
Eddie Ledgerwood .... grip (uncredited)
Roger Mace .... technician: Technicolor (uncredited)
George McHose .... grip (uncredited)
Fred Rezk .... grip (uncredited)
C.E. Richardson .... key grip (uncredited)
Herbert Romey .... grip (uncredited)
Anthony Ugrin .... still photographer (uncredited)
John F. Warren .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Young .... camera operator (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Travis Banton .... costumes
Sam Benson .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Wesley Trist .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Music Department
David Buttolph .... musical director
Charles Henderson .... composer: stock music (uncredited)
Edward B. Powell .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Herbert W. Spencer .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Other crew
Natalie Kalmus .... Technicolor director
Morgan Padelford .... associate Technicolor director
Bert Hendrickson .... stand-in: Jackie Cooper (uncredited)
Jack McKinney .... technical assistant (uncredited)
Walter Myron .... service: Technicolor (uncredited)
Stanley Scheuer .... script clerk (uncredited)
Paul Uhl .... technical assistant (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
92 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)
Argentina:13 | Finland:K-16 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:U (tv rating) | UK:U (video rating) (cut) | USA:Approved (PCA #6330) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

The original treatment had Frank romantically interested in the reporter played by Gene Tierney, but the studio became fearful of a possible lawsuit by Frank's widow and/or son, so it was eliminated from the script.See more »
Frank James:Are you coming out or am I coming in?See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Jesse James (1939)See more »
Jeannie With the Light Brown HairSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 17 people found the following review useful.
good follow up to Jesse James, 24 February 2004
Author: kyle_furr

The first western directed by Fritz Lang and it wouldn't be his last. Henry Fonda returns as Frank James and so do several other cast members like John Carradine and Henry Hull. There is a new cast member played by Jackie Cooper who is playing Jesse James grown up kid. This one starts out with Frank wanting to give up bank robbing until he hears about Jesse getting killed and then going after the Ford brothers who killed him. The Ford brothers, by the way, are putting on a show about how they killed Jesse.

Frank doesn't have that much money so he decides to rob a bank and a man is killed by the posse but they think Frank did it. There's more to the plot by you can find that out for yourself. This is Gene Tierney's first film and in this movie Frank had to avenge Jesse's murder without actually killing anyone himself, do to the strictures of the censors.

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