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I Shot Jesse James (1949)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,326 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 22 critic

Bob Ford murders his best friend Jesse James in order to obtain a pardon that will free him to marry his girlfriend but is plagued by guilt and self-disgust.

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Title: I Shot Jesse James (1949)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Preston Foster ...
Barbara Britton ...
...
Reed Hadley ...
J. Edward Bromberg ...
Kane
Victor Kilian ...
Soapy
Tom Tyler ...
...
Charles Ford (as Tom Noonan)
Eddie Dunn ...
Joe
...
Saloon Singer
Byron Foulger ...
Silver King Room Clerk
Jeni Le Gon ...
Veronica
Barbara Woodell ...
Phillip Pine ...
Man in Saloon (as Phil Pine)
Robin Short ...
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Storyline

While the law hunts him, Jesse James lives quietly in a rented house on the corner of Lafayette and Twenty-first street in St. Joseph, Missouri, under the alias of Tom Howard. His wife Zee begs him to end his association with the Ford brothers. Before they can leave on a "last" bank holdup, Bob learns that his childhood sweetheart, Cynthy Waters, now an actress, is in St. Joe and he brushes aside all caution to see her. Cynthy is beginning to realize that she is a liability to her manager, Harry Kane, because she will not leave Missouri. Meanwhile, John Kelley has come into her life. She pleads with Bob to turn honest. Cynthy tries to get a pardon for Bob, but the best offer she can get is for a 20-year stretch in prison. Then, the Governor offers amnesty and a $10,000 reward to any member of the James gang betraying Jesse. When his chance comes (April 3, 1882)Bob shoots Jesse in the back. He gets the amnesty but the reward is cut to $500. He also loses the love and respect of Cynthy,... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THE THRILLING AND COLORFUL LAST DAYS OF AMERICA'S MOST FABULOUS OUTLAW...POWERFULLY WRITTEN IN GUNSMOKE! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ich erschoß Jesse James  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Samuel Fuller said that he wanted to make this picture because, unlike many filmmakers in Hollywood, he did not see the real Jesse James as a "folk hero" or someone to be admired. Fuller saw him as a cold-blooded psychopath who shot down women, children, the elderly, the helpless (his gang once stopped a Union hospital train and executed every wounded federal soldier on it) and, in Fuller's words, Bob Ford "did something that should have been done quite a bit earlier in the life of Jesse Woodson James". See more »

Goofs

During the final shootout the background lighting on the closeups and master shots of John Ireland do not match. See more »

Quotes

Young Gunslinger: Don't shoot. I'm out of bullets.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown as posters hanging on a wall. See more »


Soundtracks

The Minstrel Song
Written by Albert Glasser
Sung by Robin Short
See more »

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User Reviews

Here's my back.
27 May 2006 | by See all my reviews

This is Samuel Fuller's first effort;it is a western and it's got something bizarre,something unusual which we find in every work of this director,whatever he films :films noirs ("underworld USA" ),melodramas ("the naked kiss" ) ,thrillers verging on horror ("shock corridor" ) or westerns ("run of the arrow" and "forty guns").

They say that Fuller approved of Robert Ford's attitude.But his movie is not so simple.It seems that Jesse really WANTS to be killed ;we might take the lines "what are you waiting for?here's my back " literally.

Once Robert Ford has taken the plunge ,his fate is sealed;there's no coming back,no hope for the life he dreams of with his gorgeous girl.Anyway,Cynthy's love has turned to despise at worst ,pity at best.

The scene on the stage is some kind of mirror ,where Ford fully realizes what he has done -a scene which contains an unusual inventive use of the flashback-,as is the folk singer who performs his "ballad of Robert Ford": when he sings his last verse ,he may be frightened,but it's Cain's eye all over again.

I do not have to kill you,Jesse's brother says ,you're already dead.


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