The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James (TV Movie 1986) Poster

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Watch this movie!
gsandds20 October 2007
This is the most authentic Jesse James movie ever made. The narrator, Ed Bruce, was excellent as the famous Missouri newspaper editor, John Newman Edwards,who made Jesse James famous in his own time by writing newspaper articles about him and lionizing him in his 1877 book Noted Guerrillas. Whenever, I give a talk about General Jo Shelby's famous Confederate Iron Brigade, I tell the audience this is the only time General Shelby has ever been portrayed in a movie and use the movie's DVD case as a prop. Willie Nelson did a great job playing ex-Confederate Joseph O. Shelby. The care shown in this movie for historical accuracy deserves recognition and I encourage anyone with an interest in the James brothers to watch it.
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4 country music greats team up.
miller-movies25 May 2001
When you cast Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson as Frank & Jesse James, you've done pretty well towards making an interesting movie. Then you add June Carter Cash as their mother, and ask Willie Nelson to make a small, but important appearance. You've got a western that all western lovers should view. Based on the actual "last days" of the James brothers, I thought it needed a bit of explanation in a few areas, but it did tell the tale about as well as other, more costly films. Locations, costumes and sets were realistic. And, yes, we get to hear Johnny sing. Recommended.
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Surprisingly good and accurate
skoyles9 June 2007
Before seeing this made-for-TV movie on a cheap double DVD purchased recently, I had never heard of "The Last Day of Frank and Jesse James". To be honest, I bought the set for the first movie, "Young Guns". This is a surprisingly fine motion picture. Well written with far more attention to historic detail in firearms, clothing and even saddles than I would have expected, excellent writing and fine acting from all involved. It is quite a feat of film-making to create suspense that keeps the viewer on the edge of his seat when that viewer knows precisely what is about to happen. The women in the story, in particular June Carter Cash and the two wives are superb in what might have been mere window dressing in a lesser movie. The simple music, using the folk song, is totally appropriate. This is a fine and moving production well worth seeing more than once. PS: I will confess that Frank James, wonderfully portrayed here by Cash, is of a personal interest to me since my legal father claimed that as a child he had seen Frank James in Detroit circa 1910.
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GREATEST Jesse James Movie Ever Made!
BOB L'ALOGE15 September 2005
This is, undoubtedly, the Greatest Jesse James movie ever made by Hollywood. By that I am referring to historical accuracy and not necessarily anything else. I was amazed at how they continued to stick to the historical data with only a few, and very few, changes for the purpose of "drama." Also, Cash and Kris made a great two-some of the James brothers. I've seen Cash in some other movies he made but this was his best ever. He had me believing he really was Frank James. And Kris is almost always good in his movies. And he made a fantastic Jesse James.

The movie plot deals with the final days--1877 to 1892--of the James brothers and the events that shaped and molded their lives. It goes an extra ten years after Jesse was murdered by the slime bucket coward "whose name does not deserve to even appear here!" And shows clear up to the day when the back-shootin' little gutter snipe was blown into hell by an American hero named Ed Kelly in Crede, Colorado. Certainly it could not have happened to a better piece of white trash.

We are all waiting to see what Brad Pitt can do. Now I am convinced he will really have to be FABULOUS to beat these two actors and, although I think he is a wonderful actor, I'm not sure he can even come close to The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James.
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Terribale movie
lee188828 January 2013
I have no ideal what these other reviews are talking about, they must have never looked into the real life of Jess and Frank James. The move is somewhat in line with what happen, but no where near the truth. Franks wasn't even no where near Bob Ford when he got shoot.

As for as the actors, please, who in the world would pay good money to the worst actor in the world (Kris Kristofferson) in a movie. I love Johnny Cash as a singer, but please once again, now way these two should ever share a screen together.

Do yourself a favor, when this movie comes on run, don't walk, to anywhere, just as long as you get far far away from this stink bomb.
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They shudda made a concert
drjgardner6 August 2014
Of all the western outlaws, Jesse James and Billy the Kid have been the most filmed, but Billy the Kid has been in the much better movies ("Dirty Little Billy", "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid"). Most of the films about Jesse and Frank James have been B westerns at best, with only the occasional better than average film ("The Long Riders").

Jesse James has been played by just about everyone, including Tyrone Power (1939), Roy Rogers (1941), Clayton Moore (1947), Audie Murphy ( 1950 and 1969), Macdonald Carey (1951), Lee van Cleef (1954), Wendell Corey (1959), Robert Duvall (1972), James Keach (1980), Kris Kristofferson (1986), Rob Lowe (1994), J.D. Souther (1999), Colin Farrell (2001), and Brad Pitt (2007). My personal preference was Tyronne Power.

Frank James has been played by many notable actors, including Henry Fonda (1939), Jeffrey Hunter (1957), Stacy Keach (1980), Bill Paxton (1994), Leonard Nimoy (1995), Gabriel Macht (2001), and Sam Shepherd (2007). My personal favorite was Henry Fonda.

This made for TV film stars features well known singers – Kris Kristoferson as Jesse James, Johnny Cash as Frank James, and Willie Nelson as General Jo Shelby. The producers would have been better off to make a concert than a film. None of the three singers are known for their acting abilities, although on occasion each of them has turned in a good performance – Nelson in "Barbarosa" (1982), Kristofferson in "Pat Garrett…" (1973) and Cash in "Walk the Line" (2005). But none of them is very entertaining, and there is very little chemistry.

The direction is heavy and there isn't much action. The photography is OK as are the costumes, but when merely OK. Interestingly enough I didn't find the soundtrack entertaining.

Bottom line – a forgettable film.
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