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Jesse James (1939)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 27 January 1939 (USA)
After railroad agents forcibly evict the James family from their family farm, Jesse and Frank turn to banditry for revenge.

Directors:

Henry King, Irving Cummings (uncredited)

Writer:

Nunnally Johnson (original screen play)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrone Power ... Jesse James
Henry Fonda ... Frank James
Nancy Kelly ... Zerelda - aka Zee
Randolph Scott ... Will Wright
Henry Hull ... Maj. Rufus Cobb
Slim Summerville ... Jailer
J. Edward Bromberg ... Mr. Runyan
Brian Donlevy ... Barshee
John Carradine ... Bob Ford
Donald Meek ... Mc Coy
Johnny Russell ... Jesse James Jr. (as John Russell)
Jane Darwell ... Mrs. Samuels
Charles Tannen ... Charles Ford
Claire Du Brey ... Mrs. Bob Ford
Willard Robertson ... Clarke
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Storyline

The railroads are squeezing farmers off their land. When a railroad agent kills their mother, Frank and Jesse James take up robbing banks and trains. The public regard them as heroes. When Jesse retires his erstwhile friend Robert Ford shoots him in the back to get the reward. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Epic Story of the most Colourful Outlaw who ever lived See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1939 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Darryl F. Zanuck's Production of Jesse James See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,444
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After the two horses that were blindfolded and forced to go over a cliff were killed, a new rule was enforced and later endorsed by The Humane Society of America in which strict standards were created to protect animals. Productions that met the standards of the Humane Society were allowed to add "No Animals Were Harmed or Injured in the Production of this Film" to the end credits. Eventually all the studios agreed that films involving any animals must have present a representative of The Humane Society to ensure that all animals are treated humanely and given a safe environment in which to work. See more »

Goofs

On two occasions the newspaper editor dictates his editorials directly to the typesetter. Such a rapid realization of spoken word to printing block, without the medium of a written dictation, is impossible. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
[about Jesse James]
Major Rufus Cobb: He was one of the doggonedest, gawl-dingedest, dad-blamedest buckaroos that ever rode across these United States of America!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: After the tragic war between the states, America turned to the winning of the West. The symbol of this era was the building of the trans-continental railroads.

The advance of the railroads was, in some cases, predatory and unscrupulous. Whole communities found themselves victimized by an ever-growing ogre - the Iron Horse.

It was this uncertain and lawless age that gave to the world, for good or ill, its most famous outlaws, the brothers Frank and Jesse James. See more »

Alternate Versions

All UK versions were cut by 13 secs by the BBFC to remove footage of horse-falls including the controversial scene of a horse fatally falling from a cliff. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fonda on Fonda (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh Susanna
(1846) (uncredited)
Written by Stephen Foster
Played on harmonica offscreen by prisoner Jesse James in jail
Sung a cappella by Nancy Kelly and Tyrone Power with modified lyrics
See more »

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User Reviews

John Carradine never forgot this movie. Want to know why?
1 June 2001 | by reptilicusSee all my reviews

If it seems at first like I am taking the long way around to make a point stick with me and it will all be clear before the finish. Ever seen the trailer for the 1967 movie HILLBILLIES IN A HAUNTED HOUSE? It claims that John Carradine and Lon Chaney were paired up for the first time in that movie. That tells me whoever wrote the script for the trailer never saw THE BLACK SLEEP, HOUSE OF FRANKENSTEIN, HOUSE OF DRACULA or this film. Yes, we all know Long John Carradine plays Bob Ford but if you look close you'll spot Lon Chaney, still a year away from actual stardom, as a nameless member of the James gang. I think you can hear Lon's voice delivering the line "We're with ya, Jesse." Anyway, so why did Carradine never forget this film? Well we all know he plays Bob Ford, the man who shot Jesse James in real life. Well Tyrone Power's legion of female fans did not like the scene of him being shot in the back so when John appeared in the annual Christmas parade of stars down Hollywood Blvd after this film came out angry women threw rotten vegetables at him! Alas, the life of a movie villain is never easy. Trivia note: Charles Halton who plays the nervous bank president and delivers the memorable line "The James gang! Great thundering hallelujah, I'll be ruined. They'll take everything!" plays the pompous Prof. Bullfinch in DR. CYCLOPS (also 1939).


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