6.8/10
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28 user 26 critic

I Shot Jesse James (1949)

Approved | | Drama, History, Romance | 26 February 1949 (USA)
Bob Ford murders his best friend Jesse James in order to obtain a pardon that will free him to marry his girlfriend but is plagued by guilt and self-disgust.

Director:

Samuel Fuller

Writers:

Samuel Fuller, Homer Croy (article)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Preston Foster ... John Kelley
Barbara Britton ... Cynthy Waters
John Ireland ... Bob Ford
Reed Hadley ... Jesse James
J. Edward Bromberg ... Harry Kane
Victor Kilian ... Soapy
Tom Tyler ... Frank James
Tommy Noonan ... Charles Ford (as Tom Noonan)
Eddie Dunn ... Joe - Silver King Bartender
Margia Dean ... Saloon Singer
Byron Foulger ... Silver King Room Clerk
Jeni Le Gon Jeni Le Gon ... Veronica
Barbara Wooddell Barbara Wooddell ... Mrs. Zee James (as Barbara Woodell)
Phillip Pine ... Man in Saloon (as Phil Pine)
Robin Short Robin Short ... Troubadour
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Storyline

While the law hunts him, Jesse James lives quietly in a rented house on the corner of Lafayette and Twenty-first street in St. Joseph, Missouri, under the alias of Tom Howard. His wife Zee begs him to end his association with the Ford brothers. Before they can leave on a "last" bank holdup, Bob learns that his childhood sweetheart, Cynthy Waters, now an actress, is in St. Joe and he brushes aside all caution to see her. Cynthy is beginning to realize that she is a liability to her manager, Harry Kane, because she will not leave Missouri. Meanwhile, John Kelley has come into her life. She pleads with Bob to turn honest. Cynthy tries to get a pardon for Bob, but the best offer she can get is for a 20-year stretch in prison. Then, the Governor offers amnesty and a $10,000 reward to any member of the James gang betraying Jesse. When his chance comes (April 3, 1882)Bob shoots Jesse in the back. He gets the amnesty but the reward is cut to $500. He also loses the love and respect of Cynthy,... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The flaming story of a man who killed his best friend for the love of a woman! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The skilled gunman who attracts younger opponents who want to defeat him is very commonplace in the world of westerns. This movie is said to be the one that started this trend. See more »

Goofs

During the final shootout the background lighting on the closeups and master shots of John Ireland do not match. See more »

Quotes

Harry Kane: What'll you do if he does strike it rich?
Cynthy Waters: I don't know.
Harry Kane: I don't remember if it was Shakespeare or Aristotle, but one of them once said, "No one loves the man who he fears."
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Crazy Credits

Opening credits are shown as posters hanging on a wall. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 500 Days of Summer (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

The Minstrel Song
Written by Albert Glasser
Sung by Robin Short
See more »

User Reviews

 
Akin To The Kind Of Celebrity OJ Enjoys
4 July 2009 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

After seeing The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, one realizes just how dated this film is as compared to the one that Casey Affleck won an Academy Award nomination for. That more recent film is far closer to the truth. It certainly has the right age for Robert Ford in real life was barely out of his teens, not an adult as John Ireland was in this film, nor a host of others who've played Ford in various Jesse James movies.

Still this western made by Samuel Fuller, his first as a director, does have a landmark status of sorts with a fine performance by John Ireland in the title role. According to this version he did this one for love and that huge amnesty money promised by the Governor of Missouri which he never got, that part is true. It was love of Barbara Britton who plays the object of Ireland's affections.

The real Robert Ford and John Ireland in this film must have thought he'd be a hero. His celebrity such as it was was akin to what O.J. Simpson got after his acquittal. People who kill for a bounty were regarded then as now as a necessary evil, but not folks you invite to your dinner table.

Samuel Fuller got good performances out of Ireland, Britton and the rest of a fine cast. It's not a bad Jesse James film, a man who has never ceased to fascinate Hollywood.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 February 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Shot Jesse James See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Lippert Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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