6.3/10
852
21 user 16 critic

The True Story of Jesse James (1957)

Approved | | Action, Biography, Crime | February 1957 (USA)
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 »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (earlier screenplay)
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Lusty Men (1952)
Action | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Retired rodeo champion Jeff McCloud agrees to mentor novice rodeo contestant Wes Merritt against the wishes of Merritt's wife who fears the dangers of this rough sport.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Robert Parrish
Stars: Susan Hayward, Robert Mitchum, Arthur Kennedy
Party Girl (1958)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Lawyer Thomas Farrell is a defender of crooks. Vicki Gayle encourages him improve his reputation, but mob king Rico Angelo insists otherwise.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Lee J. Cobb
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An ornithologist battles a family of bird poachers in the Florida Everglades.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Budd Schulberg
Stars: Burl Ives, Christopher Plummer, Chana Eden
Run for Cover (1955)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Mistaken for train robbers, Matt Dow and Davey Bishop are shot at by the sheriff and his posse but they are cleared and hired as lawmen.

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: James Cagney, Viveca Lindfors, John Derek
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

When hired killer John Gant rides into Lordsburg, the town's folk become paranoid as each leading citizen has enemies capable of using the services of a professional killer for personal revenge.

Director: Jack Arnold
Stars: Audie Murphy, Charles Drake, Joan Evans
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young Viking prince strives to become a knight in King Arthur's Court and restore his exiled father to his rightful throne.

Director: Henry Hathaway
Stars: James Mason, Janet Leigh, Robert Wagner
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A newly wealthy English woman returns to Malaya to build a well for the villagers who helped her during war. Thinking back, she recalls the Australian man who made a great sacrifice to aid her and her fellow prisoners of war.

Director: Jack Lee
Stars: Virginia McKenna, Peter Finch, Kenji Takaki
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Rough city cop Jim Wilson is disciplined by his captain and is sent upstate, to a snowy mountain town, to help the local sheriff solve a murder case.

Directors: Nicholas Ray, Ida Lupino
Stars: Ida Lupino, Robert Ryan, Ward Bond
Ramrod (1947)
Certificate: Passed Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Violent feud between Connie Dickason, the owner of the Circle 66 ranch and rancher Frank Ivey, the self-proclaimed boss of an otherwise public grazing land.

Director: André De Toth
Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Don DeFore
Crime | History | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Frank James continues to avoid arrest in order to take revenge on the Ford brothers for their murder of his brother Jesse.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Henry Fonda, Gene Tierney, Jackie Cooper
Cromwell (1970)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Oliver Cromwell can no longer tolerate King Charles' policies and the self-interest of the ruling class and leads a civil war to install Parliament as the ultimate ruler of England.

Director: Ken Hughes
Stars: Richard Harris, Alec Guinness, Robert Morley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The most complete, newly restored version of Nicholas Ray's experimental masterpiece embodies the director's practice of film-making as a "communal way of life." Ray plays himself in the ... See full summary »

Director: Nicholas Ray
Stars: Richard Bock, Tom Farrell, Danny Fisher
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Cole Younger (as Alan Hale)
...
Barney Remington
...
Rev. Jethro Bailey
Rachel Stephens ...
Anne James
...
Dr. Samuel
...
...
...
Attorney Walker
...
Rowena Cobb
...
Arkew
...
Edit

Storyline

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

Taglines:

They didn't dare tell this story before!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jesse James  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Modern buildings are visible in the background during the Northfield, Minnesota robbery. See more »

Connections

Features Jesse James (1939) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
"Jesse James was a man who lived outside the law and nobody knew his face"
2 June 2003 | by See all my reviews

The True Story of Jesse James was the third Western directed by Nicholas Ray after fabulous Johnny Guitar and rather average Run for Cover. At the time director took the project he was at the peak of his prestige mainly due to an enormous success of the film he made prior to The True Story, which is Rebel Without a Cause. He was one of the highest paid directors in Hollywood at the time and the most beloved one by James Dean. Also he was one of the few directors who managed to get a certain independence from the Studio's control, an independence that was proven in making of Bigger Than Life, when his opinion won over the one by film's main star and producer James Mason.

But with the True Story of Jesse James, those glorious days where over. It was the first Nick Ray's film where his artistic freedom was completely taken away by the producer and the studio, the first film where he didn't have the final word in making of it, and also the most hated one by the director himself, who later referenced to it in `F**g awful' terms, as being the film completely different from the one he was intending to do when took the project.

One of the main points he mentioned later was the construction of the story in ill-achieved and ridiculous flashbacks, instead of which Ray wanted to move the story back and front several times without any explanation to the viewer, avoiding using the cliché flashback sequences with the narration by Jesse's mother and Zee, which were used in final version of the film, regardless of his opinion re-edited by the order of then Fox producer Buddy Adler, who found it difficult to understand the development of the story while seeing it in the director's cut. Also with The True Story that Ray obtained the reputation of the rebel, of a difficult person to work with and realized that his artistic freedom was quite limited.

In the film we follow the true-life story of legendary James brothers, Jesse and Frank, played by Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter, which starts with the ill-fated bank robbery that goes wrong and while the brothers are on the run from the authorities, the story moves back and tells as the 18 years of their lives prior to that, the circumstances which lead them to become the most famous outlaws in the history of the West, their successes and final separation which resulted in tragic end for Jesse and helped in moulding of Jesse James' figure as a legend of the West, the beginning of which is shown in the film's marvellous ending with the blind man singing the Jesse James song predicting so the future immortality destined to the hero.

The True Story of Jesse James continues with the chain of rebel personalities so characteristic of the Nicholas Ray films with Robert Wagner as Jesse James following James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and John Derek in Run For Cover where the role of the characters' past in forming of their without a cause future is quite obvious.

Ultimately it's one of those numerous films in Hollywood history, which probably could have been great, provided the director was given the opportunity to make it the way he wanted. 7/10


13 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?