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The True Story of Jesse James (1957)

Approved | | Action, Biography, Crime | March 1957 (UK)
Biopic loosely based on the last 18 years of Jesse James' life and focused on the relationship between brothers Jesse and Frank James.

Director:

Nicholas Ray

Writers:

Walter Newman (screenplay), Nunnally Johnson (earlier screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Wagner ... Jesse James
Jeffrey Hunter ... Frank James
Hope Lange ... Zee James
Agnes Moorehead ... Mrs. Samuel
Alan Hale Jr. ... Cole Younger (as Alan Hale)
Alan Baxter ... Barney Remington
John Carradine ... Rev. Jethro Bailey
Rachel Stephens ... Anne James
Barney Phillips ... Dr. Samuel
Biff Elliot ... Jim Younger
Frank Overton ... Maj. Rufus Cobb
Barry Atwater ... Attorney Walker
Marian Seldes ... Rowena Cobb
Chubby Johnson ... Arkew
Frank Gorshin ... 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They didn't dare tell this story before!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

March 1957 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Jesse James See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,585,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

4-Track Stereo (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Color by Deluxe)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Hollywood Reporter confirmed at the time, that Patricia Owens and Stuart Whitman had both been cast, neither of whom went on to even appear in the film. 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 »

Alternate Versions

All UK versions are cut by 9 secs to remove stock footage of the same fatal cliff-top jump that resulted in the death of a horse in the 1939 Jesse James. See more »

Connections

Referenced in What's My Line?: Robert Wagner (1957) See more »

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User Reviews

 
'As the rewards go higher, your friends grow fewer.'
21 May 2007 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

As an actor, Robert Wagner has shown remarkable staying power, especially when one considers that his success in the cinema was effected almost entirely through his dark, boyish good looks…

In "The True Story of Jesse James", Robert Wagner (Jesse) is proud of his name… His name means something, especially when those Yankee bankers hear it, they start shaking… Jesse James was the shooting spokesman for everyone whose life was quietly desperate… To ones, he was a thief… To others he was already becoming a legend, one that kindles a fire in their hearts…

Jesse has planned the very last robbery perfectly to make enough money to retire on… But in spite that he never struck a bank in Northfield, the Minnesota banks were anxiously waiting for him… So something went wrong…

Mrs. Samuel (Agnes Moorehead) recalls the past… The Yankees came riding down on her farm, and her neighbors dragged her out of the kitchen… Her elder son Frank (Jeffrey Hunter) was fighting for the South… The State of Missouri has taken sides with the North… Any man from this state who joins the South was considered a traitor…

For Zee (Hope Lange), Jesse had a dream for the future… But that night, his neighbors, who were Northern sympathizers, broke his reverie…

All begins when the war has sapped the two brothers and their friends bone-dry… Every bank in the state of Missouri was owned by a Yankee man who hates their hide and wants them to get out… Those banks have got a lot of Northern money rolling in… Jesse wanted one or two robberies to get enough money to leave for his mother, for his sweetheart, for protecting the farm… But then he becomes addicted to the exciting life of robbing banks and trains…

The film—well paced by director Nicholas Ray—was beautifully acted by all its stars…


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