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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:

Motion Pictures' Supreme Epic ! 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

John Carradine and Donald Meek were also in Stagecoach (1939), the other hit western of 1939. See more »

Goofs

The movie shows a bomb killing Frank and Jesse's mother. In reality, the "bomb" thrown through the window by the Pinkertons killed their little brother and seriously wounded their mother. She survived, however, although she lost an arm in the attack. See more »

Quotes

[Jesse and Zee have come to the church to get married - the minister and the congregation react when he says he's Jesse James]
Jesse James: We don't want no trouble.
Minister: Trouble? Why, son, you're as welcome as rain to the flowers. Do you realize, boy, that I had a farm giving nine hundred bushels of corn... until that railroad had taken it from me? Why, I'd given up preaching... and was making an honest living off of the land, until that dad-swinged railroad swindled me out of my own home. By golly, son, do you ...
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 Becoming John Ford (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

The Battle Cry of Freedom
(1862) (uncredited)
Written by George Frederick Root
Played by the band at the railroad station
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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