The True Story of Jesse James


Action / Biography / Crime / Western

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 36%
IMDb Rating 6.3 10 982


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
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June 11, 2018 at 11:07 AM



Jeffrey Hunter as Frank James
Robert Wagner as Jesse James
Agnes Moorehead as Mrs. Samuel
John Carradine as Rev. Jethro Bailey
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
819.65 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 5 / 9
1.51 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 32 min
P/S 10 / 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jpdoherty 2 / 10

Poor Jesse.

Fox's "The True Story Of Jesse James" (1957) is a remarkably poor widescreen remake of their prestigious 1939 Tyrone Power/Henry Fonda classic "Jesse James". I'm not sure where the fault lies but the casting in this version of the two central characters, the uneven direction of Nicholas Ray and the ham-fisted screenplay must surely have something to do with it.

In the late thirties and forties Tyrone Power was Fox's top leading man but in the fifties his star began to wane and studio head Darryl Zanuck started to groom newcomer Robert Wagner to take his place. This was a major error on Zanuck's part as Wagner proved to be a less than a suitable replacement. With the possible exceptions of "Broken Lance" (1954) and "Between Heaven & Hell" (1956) it is hard to think of Wagner distinguishing himself in anything! Also, Jeffrey Hunter was nothing more than a Fox contract player before being assigned to play Frank James to Wagner's Jesse in "The True Story Of Jesse James". Borrowed from the studio the previous year this actor's one distinguishing mark was his excellent and revealing performance in John Ford's classic "The Searchers". But his playing here, along with Wagner as the second half of the James Brothers, is nothing short of boring. Neither player bring any personality or colour to their respective roles. They totally miss the mark, lacking the charisma and appeal so vividly displayed by Power and Fonda in the original. The movie is also marred by too many flashbacks and with the all over the place screenplay Wagner, as the Robin Hood of the American west, comes across as a charmless introverted twit that you can feel no empathy for whatsoever. The supporting cast are hardly worth mentioning but it is a shame to see such a great actress as Agnes Moorhead barely getting a look in as Ma James.

The best aspects of this uninvolving so-so western is the wonderful Cinemascope/Colour cinematography by the great Joe McDonald and the excellent music score by the underrated and little known composer Leigh Harline!

Reviewed by dinky-4 6 / 10

Good-looking but unconvincing

Not quite big enough to be an "A" movie, not quite small enough to qualify as a "B" movie, this version of the Jesse James story is too indecisive in its attitude toward its central character to have much impact. The Jesse depicted here is neither good nor bad, and the same thing could be said about the movie itself.

It is a very good-looking movie, though it's completely out of touch with the times it's meant to portray. Every set, every costume, every hair-do says "Hollywood 1950s" rather than "Missouri 1870s."

Robert Wagner seems too clean-cut to be a frontier outlaw but 20th Century-Fox was trying to push him toward stardom at the time, making use of his "hunk" appeal. He's thus given a few bare-chest scenes. Jeffrey Hunter, another would-be star, fits more easily into the western milieu as Jesse's brother, but his part has clearly been subordinated to keep the attention on the Jesse James character. One wonders how the movie might have been improved had these two actors exchanged roles.

Agnes Moorehead and John Carradine lend interest to a better-than-average supporting cast.

Reviewed by Nazi_Fighter_David 7 / 10

'As the rewards go higher, your friends grow fewer.'

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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