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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 123,174 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 391 user | 265 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Robert Ford, who's idolized Jesse James since childhood, tries hard to join the reforming gang of the Missouri outlaw, but gradually becomes resentful of the bandit leader.

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Title: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 33 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Dustin Bollinger ...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Joel McNichol ...
Express Messenger
James Defelice ...
Baggagemaster (as James DeFelice)
J.C. Roberts ...
Engineer
Darrell Orydzuk ...
Ukranian Train Passenger
Jonathan Erich Drachenberg ...
Young Train Passenger
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Storyline

The last months of Jesse James's life, from meeting Robert Ford, a 19-year-old who idolizes Jesse, to the day Ford shoots him. Jesse's a wanted man, living under a pseudonym, carrying out a train robbery, disappearing to Kentucky, and reappearing to plan a bank holdup with Robert and Robert's brother as his team. The rest of the gang is dead, arrested, or gone from Missouri. Whenever Jesse's around, there's tension: he's murderous, quixotic, depressed, and cautious. Ford wants to be somebody and wants the reward. On April 3, 1882, things come to a head: Jesse is 34, Robert 20. Ford becomes famous, reenacting the shooting on stage, facing down the label "coward," shot dead in 1892. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Beyond the myth lies America's greatest betrayal.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence and brief sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

30 November 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Assassination of Jesse James  »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£180,886 (UK) (30 November 2007)

Gross:

$3,904,982 (USA) (25 January 2008)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In reality, Jesse James famously suffered from a syndrome that made him blink much more than the average person. Although this is mentioned at the start of the film, interestingly Brad Pitt makes a point of barely blinking during most of his scenes. See more »

Goofs

Arguably, the term "motor" was not widely used. It was defined as, "machine that supplies motive power" in 1856. To engineers, it is a term for machines that are electrically or tension-fed (as in springs) and "engines" supplied by chemical means or processes (internal combustion or steam). At that time, the only commonly known use of "motors" is in toys...which may be why Jesse (or the culture at the time) used the term, "motor" for what is happening inside a person's (Robert, in this case) head--including the mention of gears. In the scene where Jesse is planning the Platte robbery, Jesse refers to Robert's fear as, "motor." (Arguably), the term should have been more closer to Jesse's experience by referring Roberts fear as, "engine" because the most common "machine that supplies motive power" that Jesse has the most familiarity with would be the steam engine. "Motor" and "engine" have been misused so much that they are now interchangeable in the dictionary. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: He was growing into middle age, and was living then in a bungalow on Woodland Avenue. He installed himself in a rocking chair and smoked a cigar down in the evenings as his wife wiped her pink hands on an apron and reported happily on their two children. His children knew his legs, the sting of his mustache against their cheeks. They didn't know how their father made his living, or why they so often moved. They didn't even know their father's name. He was listed in the city ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film does not contain either an opening title nor intro credits. The film title is displayed first after the final fadeout. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tosh.0: Comedian Daniel Songer (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

A Bird in a Gilded Cage
Written by Arthur J. Lamb and Harry von Tilzer
Performed by Zooey Deschanel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Amazing Work of Art
9 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Wow, does this film have style or what? The Assassination of Jesse Jamed by the Coward Robert Ford, is one of the longest titles I've ever seen for a film and the movie's run-time follows the same pattern. I have no problem with this. I would sit through a ten hour "Jesse James" because of the excellent tone given out by director Andrew Dominik. The frozen Missouri/ Kansas landscapes are a treat for the eyes. The musical score does its job: to blend into the film so subtly that I cant imagine the images on the screen without it. The narration neither detracts or adds to the tone, although there is one bit of bad editing that confused my friend as to whether the narrator was speaking or a man's voice had been dubbed poorly.

"Jesse James" delves deep into the inner conflicts and emotions of every character. We live with them, eat with them, and often feel their pain or their confusion. This confusion is often associated with the bi-polar nature of the film's central character, Jesse James, played by none other than Brad Pitt. Casey Affleck delivers a subtle performance here that actually becomes the most effective as the film progresses over its 160 minute running time. I hated Robert Ford for a good portion of the film, thought he was so annoying and clingy that it was a wonder Jesse James didn't kill him within the first day of their complex relationship. But then, as I sat through the so called "gruelling" running time of the film, I learned to feel for him and understand his motives and attraction for Jesse. But ultimately, his childhood, comic book worship of the famous outlaw changes.

The "style" of the film is evident in the first frame of passing clouds. Roger Deacon's cinematography is the best I've seen since Conrad Hall's work in Road to Perdition, perhaps better. He is definitely winning the Oscar this year, between this and No Country For Old Men. There is a scene involving a train robbery where the visuals and utter style blew me away. The lighting and camera direction becomes more subtle and less noticeable after the train scene, but, does not lessen in quality and pure artistry. There is a topic on the IMDb message boards approaching the topic of whether certain films should be labeled "art films." Well all films are works of art, some are horrendous, some are extraordinary. Well, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is an extraordinary work of art.


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beyond boring...what a joke daddy8ball
One of the most underrated movies ever. sheltiknong
Why did people care so much about Jesse James? landrynumbertwo
Suicide By Bob? Gregory-burpee
Jesse James/No Country/There Will Be Blood? el-passo
How can so many people NOT enjoy this movie? jstreeter3163

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