The Return of Jesse James (1950)

Approved  |   |  Action, Drama, Western  |  8 September 1950 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 62 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Frank James resents and tries to stop a ruthless drifter who has adopted the name of his dead brother in order to duplicate his crimes.


(as Arthur David Hilton)


(story), (screenplay)
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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.

Director: Samuel Fuller
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Johnny Callum
Susan (Sue) Ellen Younger
Hank Younger
Lem Younger
Clifton Young ...
Charlie Ford (as Tom Noonan)
Victor Kilian ...
Westfield Sheriff Rigby
Saloon Waiter-Piano Player
Byron Foulger ...
Rufe Dakin
Paul Maxey ...
Elmer Galway
Dr. Hallstrom
Barbara Woodell ...
Ann--Frank's Wife


Johnny looks so much like the real Jesse, he is mistaken for him by a grizzled old member of the now deceased James gang. Johnny is talked into leading a new gang to rob banks using the same modus operandi as the famed outlaw. Jesse's brother Frank decides to put a stop to the defamation of his dead brother's name. Johnny and his gang run into trouble when they try to rob the same two banks, simultaneously, that proved to be the downfall of the original gang. Written by Buxx Banner <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


DEAD...OR ALIVE? (original print ad - all caps) See more »


Action | Drama | Western


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

8 September 1950 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Return of the James Boys  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


There were no Younger brothers named Hank or Lem, as there are in this film. See more »


In the saloon scene Sid Melton says he wants to hear a 'fresh and new' song, "The Camptown Races." The Stephen Foster song was published in 1850, which would making it a 'golden oldie" by 1883. See more »


Hank Younger: [referring to Callum] Some day he's gonna bite off more than he can chaw, and I wanna be there.
See more »


Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair
Composed by Stephen Foster
Sung by Margia Dean in saloon
See more »

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User Reviews

Lackluster Oater has One Good Idea
8 January 2001 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

Interesting idea of a Jesse James lookalike trying to resurrect his identity to pull jobs. Reed Hadley is sufficiently stoic as Frank James, hunting down the bogus Jesse to preserve the real Jesse's reputation. Ireland gives his generally professional performance, hinting broadly at his character's complexity. But in the second half, this fine premise degenerates quickly into a run-of-the mill oater. 5/10.

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