Jesse James (1939)

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    20th. CENTURY FOX

    Photo with the courtesy of lasbugas

    Information From IMDb

    Plot Summary
    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

    Tyrone Power ... Jesse Woodson James
    Henry Fonda ... Frank James
    Nancy Kelly ... Zerelda 'Zee' Cobb, later Zerelda 'Zee' James
    Randolph Scott ... Marshall Will Wright
    Henry Hull ... Major 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 - Jesse's mother
    Charles Tannen ... Charles Ford
    Claire Du Brey ... Mrs. Bob Ford
    Willard Robertson ... Clarke
    Harold Goodwin ... Bill
    Ernest Whitman ... Pinkie
    Eddy Waller ... Deputy
    Paul E. Burns ... Hank (as Paul Burns)
    Spencer Charters ... Minister
    Arthur Aylesworth ... Tom Colson
    Charles Middleton ... Doctor
    Charles Halton ... Heywood (Credits) / Layworth
    George Chandler ... Roy
    Harry Tyler ... Farmer
    Virginia Brissac ... Boy's Mother
    Edward LeSaint ... Judge Rankin (as Ed Le Saint)
    John Elliott ... Judge Mathews
    Erville Alderson ... Old Marshal
    George P. Breakston ... Farmer Boy (as George Breakston)
    Lon Chaney Jr. ... One of James Gang
    And many others

    Writing credits
    Nunnally Johnson (original screenplay)
    Hal Long (story contributor) uncredited
    Gene Fowler (contributing writer) uncredited and
    Curtis Kenyon (contributing writer) uncredited

    * A scene in which a horse falls to its death from a cliff, and the subsequent public outcry, led to the American Humane Association (AHA) overseeing filmmaking through its new Film and TV Unit. Eventually they introduced the now-familiar AHA certification, "No animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture."

    * Irving Cummings filled in as director from 14 October 1938 to 24 October 1938, when Henry King was bed-ridden from a swelling in his ear.

    * The film shows both Jesse and Frank going off the cliff on horseback. In reality the stunt was performed once and shot with two cameras.

    * In the scene where a wagon and its two horses go over the edge of a 75-foot cliff into the river below, the stuntman driving the wagon wasn't hurt, but the two horses were killed.

    * While shooting his role in the Ozarks, Lon Chaney Jr. fell off his horse during a chase and was trampled by the horse behind him. He was not injured badly - he managed to finish his scenes that day. But director Henry King, blaming Chaney's nightly drinking for the mishap, fired him, and he was dropped by his studio (20th Century Fox.)

    * Crew or equipment visible: After they get Jesse out of jail, in the head-on shot of Frank and Jesse riding while being chased by the posse, road dust from the camera truck is visible ahead of them.

    * Factual errors: 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.

    * Continuity: On the river bank, when Jesse James bids farewell to Pinkie, the latter changes place, from beside the mule, with his hand on its back, to the front of the mule, holding the rein, between shots.

    Filming locations
    Lake Ozark, Missouri, USA
    Noel, Missouri, USA
    Pineville, Missouri, USA

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 6 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Jesse James (1939) is a western film directed by Henry King
    and starring Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly and Randolph Scott.
    Written by Nunnally Johnson, the film is loosely based on the life of Jesse James,
    the notorious outlaw from whom the film derives its name.
    It is "notorious for its historical inaccuracy."
    The supporting cast features Henry Hull, John Carradine,
    Brian Donlevy, Jane Darwell and Lon Chaney, Jr..

    The American Humane Association began to oversee filmmaking
    after a horse died when it was driven off a cliff on set.

    I thought this was a great movie.
    The film was criticised for glamorising such a notorious gang,
    and for the death of some horses,
    which in turn brought about strict new rules for animal saftey.
    When it was released it was outshone by other big releases,
    but over a period of time, it has established itself as a classic western.
    It had all a western required, excitement, romance
    plenty of gun play and a great screenplay, about real life events.

    Tyrone Power as Jesse James, was brilliant in this film
    and acted better than he had done before.
    However it was genuinely agreed, that he was outshone,
    by Henry Fonda, in the role of Frank James.
    Randolph Scott played a good supporting role,
    and Henry Hull was superb as the fussing editor.
    Even the sequel The Return Of Frank James,
    was an excellent movie

    Best Wishes
    London- England

    Edited 4 times, last by ethanedwards ().

  • Like many movies from back in the 30's and 40's, historical accuracy takes a back seat to great entertainment and, that's what this movie was, great entertainment. I always watch this when I run across it on TCM. Power and Fonda were perfect as Jesse and Frank, Nancy Kelly looked as good as ever, Henry Hull stole the movie as the newpaper editor and friend of the James brothers, Randolph Scott was Randolph Scott, and John Carradine, Donald Meek and, J Edward Bromberg were great as the sleazy trio of Bob Ford, Mr. McCoy and, the RR detective Runyan.

  • A very romanticised version of the James Story but a brilliant western all the same.
    Gorgeous Technicolor and cracking film score makes it a treat to watch each time.

    Who did do the film score by the way?

  • Jesse James was a distant cousin of mine. He was an older second cousin of my maternal grandpa. Thank goodness, my grandpa didn't follow in Jesse's footsteps.

    I've got both the old James films on disc. They're both excellent movies.

    De gustibus non est disputandum

    Edited once, last by Stumpy ().

  • Jesse James 1939- Tyrone Powell, Henry Fonda, Randolph Scott. Very good movie about a
    not so good subject. Beautiful Technicolor.
    It was a very popular movie at the time. Randolph was a big guy.

    "A people that values their Privileges above it's Principles. Soon looses both." Dwight Eisenhower