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I Shot Jesse James (1949)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,241 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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Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Preston Foster ...
Kelley
Barbara Britton ...
Cynthy
...
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 ...
Troubadour
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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:

I KILLED MY BEST FRIEND FOR THE LOVE OF A WOMAN! (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 February 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ich erschoß Jesse James  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot in ten days. 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

Harry Kane: What'll you do if he does strike it rich?
Cynthy Waters: I don't know.
Harry Kane: I don't remember if it was Shakespeare or Aristotle, but one of them once said, "No one loves the man who he fears."
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Gunfighters of the Old West (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

The Jesse James Song
Written by Billy Gashade
Sung by Robin Short
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Akin To The Kind Of Celebrity OJ Enjoys
4 July 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

After seeing The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, one realizes just how dated this film is as compared to the one that Casey Affleck won an Academy Award nomination for. That more recent film is far closer to the truth. It certainly has the right age for Robert Ford in real life was barely out of his teens, not an adult as John Ireland was in this film, nor a host of others who've played Ford in various Jesse James movies.

Still this western made by Samuel Fuller, his first as a director, does have a landmark status of sorts with a fine performance by John Ireland in the title role. According to this version he did this one for love and that huge amnesty money promised by the Governor of Missouri which he never got, that part is true. It was love of Barbara Britton who plays the object of Ireland's affections.

The real Robert Ford and John Ireland in this film must have thought he'd be a hero. His celebrity such as it was was akin to what O.J. Simpson got after his acquittal. People who kill for a bounty were regarded then as now as a necessary evil, but not folks you invite to your dinner table.

Samuel Fuller got good performances out of Ireland, Britton and the rest of a fine cast. It's not a bad Jesse James film, a man who has never ceased to fascinate Hollywood.


3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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