471 user 278 critic

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

2:21 | Trailer
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.


Andrew Dominik


Andrew Dominik (screenplay), Ron Hansen (novel)
1,964 ( 16)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Pitt ... Jesse James
Mary-Louise Parker ... Zee James
Brooklynn Proulx ... Mary James
Dustin Bollinger ... Tim James
Casey Affleck ... Robert Ford
Sam Rockwell ... Charley Ford
Jeremy Renner ... Wood Hite
Sam Shepard ... Frank James
Garret Dillahunt ... Ed Miller
Paul Schneider ... Dick Liddil
Joel McNichol ... Express Messenger
James Defelice James Defelice ... Baggagemaster (as James DeFelice)
J.C. Roberts J.C. Roberts ... Engineer
Darrell Orydzuk Darrell Orydzuk ... Ukranian Train Passenger
Jonathan Erich Drachenberg Jonathan Erich Drachenberg ... Young Train Passenger


Taking place in Missouri in the early 1880s, the film dramatizes the last seven months in the life of famed outlaw Jesse James, beginning with the Blue Cut train robbery of 1881 and culminating in his assassination at the hands of Robert Ford the following April. In the time between these two fateful events, the young and jealous Ford befriends the increasingly mistrustful outlaw, even as he plots his demise. Written by Cole Matthews

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Unlike most Westerns, the male characters don't wear Stetsons, but more period-appropriate derby and stovepipe hats. Jesse James wears a Homburg. See more »


This movie takes place between September 8th, 1881 and April 3rd, 1882. At the end of the film, Jesse is shown standing in golden wheat up to his hips. In Missouri, wheat is planted in the late fall and is dormant until Spring. At this point in Spring, even under the most ideal conditions, the Missouri wheat crop would have likely been less than a foot tall and completely green. See more »


[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 »


Amazing Grace
Traditional Hymn
Lyrics by John Newton
See more »

User Reviews

Awesome and spectacular Western with good performances from Pitt and Affleck
27 July 2009 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

This is a sprawling and glamorous Western but overlong. Packs colorful scenarios, slow-moving pace and slick edition. Wonderful cinematography by Roger Deakins and atmospheric musical score by Nick Cave. The motion picture is well realized by Andrew Dominik who displays enough off-beat touches to keep things interesting.

Adding more details over the largely described on the movie, deeds happened of the following way : Later events led disaster on 6 September 1876 in which Jesse(Brad Pitt) and Frank James(Sam Shepard) with three younger Younger brothers attempted a bank robbery at Northfield , Minnesota, only Jesse and Frank got clean away to live quietly for several years under assumed names , Jesse as J.D. Howard and Frank as B.J. Woodson. In 1879 they robbed a train and another one in 1881, in the latter crime a conductor and a passenger were killed. Governor of Missouri raised rewards of 10.000 dollars each for the James boys, dead or alive. On 3 April 1882 Bob Ford, a new member , treacherously shot Jessse dead in the back of the head in his home at St Joseph, Missouri where Jesse was living along with his wife(Mary Louise Parker) and sons. Frank surrendered six months later , he stood trial and was acquitted. He gave up his criminal ways and lived a respectable life until he died aged seventy-two in 1915. Robert Ford(1861-92) made his mark on the history as the man who killed Jesse James. It was his claim to fame. Bob(Ben Affleck) and his brother Charlie (Sam Rockwell) were new recruits to Jesse's gang in 1881 and when a reward was offered for Jesse and Frank, dead or alive, the brothers Ford made a secret agreement with Governor to assassinate the outlaw. For the rest of his life Ford was reviled for the manner in which he had killed Jesse , whose gravestone bore the words: ¨Murdered by a traitor and a coward whose name is not worthy to appear here¨. Forced by public opinion to leave Missouri , Bob wandered through the old West , taunted by the words of the popular song : ¨The dirty little coward, who was shot Mr Howard, has laid poor Jesse in his grave¨ .

Others films about this legendary outlaw are : The classic version (1939) titled ¨Jesse James(1939)¨ with Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda, ¨The return of Frank james(1950) by Fritz Lang with Henry Fonda ; ¨I shot Jesse James¨by Samuel Fuller with John Ireland as Bob Ford ; ¨Jesse James vs the Dalton(1954)¨ by William Castle with John Ireland, ¨The true story of Jesse James¨ by Nicholas Ray with Robert Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 471 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »



USA | Canada | UK


English | Danish

Release Date:

19 October 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assassination of Jesse James See more »


Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$147,812, 23 September 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.

Visit our What to Watch page

Recently Viewed