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The True Story of Jesse James (1957)

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The last eighteen years in the life of Jesse James, showing his home life in Missouri, his experiences with Quantrill's raiders, his career of banditry with his brother Frank and the ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (earlier screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cole Younger (as Alan Hale)
Alan Baxter ...
Barney Remington
Rev. Jethro Bailey
Rachel Stephens ...
Anne James
Barney Phillips ...
Dr. Samuel
Barry Atwater ...
Attorney Walker
Rowena Cobb
Chubby Johnson ...


The last eighteen years in the life of Jesse James, showing his home life in Missouri, his experiences with Quantrill's raiders, his career of banditry with his brother Frank and the Younger brothers, and his attempt to lead a peaceful life after the disastrous attempt to rob the bank at Northfield, Minn. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jesse James  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The Hollywood Reporter confirmed at the time, that Patricia Owens and Stuart Whitman had both been cast, neither of whom went on to even appear in the film. See more »


Remake of Jesse James (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

Invested With Less Glamour
27 November 2011 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

About the only thing I can say about The True Story Of Jesse James is that it's invested with a little less star glamor than the 1939 version with Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda as the James Brothers. Here Jesse and Frank are played by Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter with a bit more of a realistic style rather than it being substantially true.

Otherwise a lot of the same ground covered in flashbacks rather than a straight narrative is used. In fact Nunnally Johnson who wrote the 1939 screenplay for 20th Century Fox is given a screen credit here. The same theme is used here, Jesse might have turned outlaw for good and sufficient reason, but was getting a real taste for it by the time the Ford Brothers did him in.

There is a harbinger of the Oscar nominated performance that Casey Affleck gave a few years ago in the most recent Jesse James film in Carl Thayler's brief appearance as Bob Ford. Thayler hints at what Affleck spent a whole film doing, showing that Ford was a mixed up kid who thought he would gain public approval shooting down a notorious outlaw. However a sadly neglected Jesse James film was done in the Nineties by Rob Lowe as Jesse.

For better or worse many consider Jesse James as the last Confederate out there when he died in 1881. He certainly was a hero to many of the defeated Confederates doing what he did to the banks and railroads who were controlling a lot of the agrarian south and west.

Not true, but The True Story Of Jesse James is a passable retelling of the events that made him the legend he became.

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