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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 »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Mrs. Samuel
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Cole Younger (as Alan Hale)
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Barney Remington
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Rev. Jethro Bailey
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Anne James
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Dr. Samuel
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Jim Younger
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Maj. Rufus Cobb
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Attorney Walker
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Rowena Cobb
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Arkew
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Charley Ford
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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

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February 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jesse James  »

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(Westrex Recording System)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although Nicholas Ray was initially reluctant to remake the 1939 film, he became intrigued by the idea of casting Elvis Presley--whom he thought had the potential to be "a new James Dean"--as Jesse James. After he had signed his contract, it became quickly clear that the studio had always intended to cast Robert Wagner, who was under contract and being built by the studio into a star. However, Ray did have his way in casting Hope Lange as James's wife; the studio had wanted Joanne Woodward. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie the sheriff and his men wait to attack the James gang do to heavy rain. Once the rain stops the posse proceeds by crossing a bridge over a completely dry, dusty stream bed and dirt road. See more »

Connections

Remake of Jesse James (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

 
the true legend
16 September 2010 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

While there is the legend and the truth about Jesse James and his gang, this film, in which the title strongly implies a truthful account, perpetuates the legend of a man who was of the people and who robbed banks that grew rich at their suffering. Is there truth to the legend, then? Google it and find out. The film itself is a solid piece of work from director Nicholas Ray, who, another poster has written, disowned it since the studio forced him to follow a familiar and hokey flashback style. However, even that works out OK, as the film starts with James's biggest failure, the notorious Northfield Minnesota bank robbery fiasco, which it revisits later on to show how the gang was trapped and picked off by strategically placed sharpshooters. The acting is not that great, a factor that seems to be related to the script, but the story itself moves along and has many good scenes from the flashbacks, especially when Jame's neighbor whips him with his belt, and when preacher John Carradine baptizes Jesse and girlfriend Hope Lange on the banks of a river. The film includes some interesting "facts" (?) about the Northfield raid, one of which, the Swedish townsperson wanting to buy one of the gang's horses, made it into Walter Hill's The Long Riders. And the Ford brothers' betrayal is very well done and seemed to have been copied in the Brad Pitt film. Frank Gorshin was an excellent choice to play one of the Ford's. The portrayal of the Fords of hanging around in the background, but present nonetheless, adds a lot for the viewer who knows this story already. As Jesse, Robert Wagner wasn't great, but definitely up to the task. Jesse James is a legend, no matter what the real truth is about him.


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