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Jesse James Under the Black Flag (1921)

Shows James' joining of the Quantrill's raiders, a guerrilla force which fought against union sympathizers during the Civil War. James takes allegiance to the Black Flag, the raiders' ... See full summary »




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Cast overview:
Jesse James Jr. ... Himself / Jesse James
Franklin B. Coates ... Himself (prologue)
Diana Reed ... Lucille James - daughter of Jesse James Jr. (prologue and epilogue)
Jack Neil ... Robert Standing - Lucille's Sweetheart (prologue and epilogue)
Harry Hall ... Charles William Quantrell
Marguerite Hungerford ... Zee Mimms - Mrs. Jesse James
F.G. McCabe ... Bloody Bill Anderson
Sunshine Baker ... Mrs. Sam Clifton
Ralph Johnson ... Judge Bowman
Hortense Espey ... Mrs. Bowman
Jack Wall ... Captain Arch Clements
Mrs. Cart ... Jesse's Mother
William Baker ... Jesse's Step-Father
Frances Coffrey ... Susan - Jesse's Sister


Shows James' joining of the Quantrill's raiders, a guerrilla force which fought against union sympathizers during the Civil War. James takes allegiance to the Black Flag, the raiders' banner. After the war he recieves kind treatment from a judge concerning his acts of crime and later meets and falls in love with Zee, with whom he wishes to live a peaceful life. Written by <mogelthoth@aol.com>

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History | Western




Release Date:

March 1921 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Extant version is a re-edited 1930 re-release of two films: this one and Jesse James as the Outlaw (1921), with narration taking the place of most of the original inter-titles, plus musical accompaniment and sound effects. Each of the two original films has now been shortened to approximately half its original length, the mid-point between the two occurring about 30 minutes into the present film. See more »


Spin-off Jesse James (1939) See more »

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User Reviews

A son's view of his famous outlaw father...
29 September 2005 | by See all my reviews

This is a Western of a totally different kind. First off, it is a silent movie complete with a narrator (so you don't have to read those cue cards) and sounds of gun fire, horses, music, etc.

But what made the movie intriguing to me was that it starred the actual son of the famous Missouri outlaw--Jesse James Jr. He played two roles: First as himself and then, in the flashback portion (which is most of the movie) he played his father. Now we are talking about a star playing his father who was an outlaw and that star was 7 years old when, while playing in another room of the house, heard the gunshot that killed his father in the living room. As a boy, he knew the two men who were in the room with his father that dreaded April morning in northwestern Missouri. But his mother had ushered him into a back room to play with his sister when the two "cowards" came that morning so he didn't see his father shot but came into the room immediately after the gunshot. He saw his father lying on the floor and blood pouring from the back of his head. He watched as his mother cradled her dying husband--begging him not to die. He heard her cries and screams as the spirit of his father slipped from him and his mother realized the man she loved was dead. He certainly must have loved his father in those first 7 years and have been loved by his father in turn. So we are talking about a boy who grew up and idolized his father because his mother told him things about Jesse that no others knew. So his view is from that perspective. Thus a bit of background about the main star of this movie.

The plot: Jesse James Jr. is at home and talking with a writer about their co-authoring a book about his father. A young man arrives and meets his daughter. He later returns and (though time must have elapsed) wants to marry his daughter. Jesse Jr. gives him a book about his father and tells the young man to read it and then, if he still wants to marry the granddaughter of a famous outlaw, OK. So now comes the flashback about what the young man is reading.

It begins with Jesse joining up with Quantrill before the War of Northern Aggression (Civil War) began officially. It carries Jesse through the war years and then his attempt to settle down after the war and live a normal life. It details the fact that he was continually harassed by carpet-bagger governments. It gives many details about Jesse's kind nature toward the people in the area and why they loved him. It works its way up to where that "dirty little coward" murdered him in the back and the flashback is over.

Then the young man (reading the book) is given the chance to marry the daughter of Jesse James Jr. Did he? You'll have to view the movie and see for yourself.

The quality of the movie was really good compared to silent movies. I recently bought the video from Movies Unlimited and will certainly watch it again and again. For in my view, it gives me information about Jesse James that no other movie can ever give--a son's view of his father whom he loved.

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