6 January 2014 | ma-cortes
Spectacular as well as colorful Western dealing with the last eighteen years in the life of Jesse and Frank James
This is a slight and plain biopic about Jesse James who ranks with Billy the Kid as the most famous of Western outlaws . Legend and folklore have cast him as a Robin Hood , a good boy forced by circumstances to follow a criminal life . The picture provides a simple portrait of Jesse and his band , as they move from Civil War to there territory becoming into semi-legends . As showing his home life in Missouri, his experiences with Quantrill's raiders and his career of banditry . As Jesse (Robert Wagner) and Frank (Jeffrey Hunter) joined the Confederate guerrillas of Quantrill and learned to kill in ruthless company . Jesse and Frank along with cousins Cole (Alan Hale Jr) , Bob and Jim Younger (Biff Elliot) return from War to find mommy (Agnes Moorehead) and family threatened by Northern people . As detective Barney Remington (Alan Baxter) was hired by the railroad company to hunt down Jesse and Frank . So James Brothers commence to robbin' banks and trains to help out the poor folks who been done wrong . In the course of their revenge , they will become the object of the biggest manhunt in the history of the Old West . Along the way , Jesse courts attractive young , filly Zee (Hope Lange) . As their fame grows, so will the legend of their leader, a young outlaw by the name of Jesse James.
This is a sprawling and glamorous Western with acceptable performances from Rober Wagner and Jeffrey Hunter. The film gets spectacular shoot em'up , thrills , exciting horse pursuits ; it's entertaining , although nothing new but displays an ordinary pace and with no originality . A glimmer Western with a wild bunch look-alike that ends up into a fateful final . Packs colorful scenarios, moving pace and slick edition by means of flashbacks .Footage from the original 1939 production was used when Frank and Jesse go over a cliff on horseback into a river and when they crashed, on horseback, through a store window during the "Northfield Minnesota Raid." Features various passable acting by a popular group of today's known stars . This is a decent look about the known story of the West's greatest bandit , Jesse James , along with Frank , Cole Younger and brothers with acceptable performances and professional direction by Nicholas Ray who creates some good action scenes . As originally conceived by Walter Newman and Nicholas Ray, the film had a non-linear plot with flashbacks, but studio boss Buddy Adler couldn't understand it and forced Ray to recut it with the scenes in chronological order ; Bernstein said the recut rendered the film "pointless." Taut excitement throughout , beautifully photographed by Joseph MacDonald and with spectacular bloodletting but realized with some flaws . Atmospheric and evocative musical score by Leigh Harline . The motion picture was well realized by Nicholas Ray who displays enough off-beat touches to keep .
Other 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 ; and ¨Jesse James vs the Dalton(1954)¨ by William Castle with John Ireland . And contemporary-style Western such as ¨Frank and Jesse¨ by Robert Boris with Rob Lowe as Jesse James , Bill Paxton as Frank James and Randy Travis as Younger ; ¨American outlaws¨ by Les Mayfield with Colin Farrell , Gabriel Macht , Terry O'Quinn , Harris Yulin and Ali Larter ; and ¨The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford¨ (2007) by Andrew Dominik with Brad Pitt , Sam Shepard , Mary Louise Parker , Casey Affleck and Sam Rockwell.
The picture was based on actual events , these are the following : At the war's end in 1865 , Jesse rode in to surrender and was shot and seriously wounded by a Union soldier . It is believed that Jesse took part in his first robbery in 1866 when a dozen men held up the bank in Liberty , Missouri . A bank cashier was killed in the raid and a reward was offered for each of the James brothers . In 1873 Jesse and his band derailed and robbed a train on the Rock Island line . Jesse married his cousin Zerelda , who bore him two children . Pinkerton detectives were contracted to chase Jesse and Frank , the agents surrounded the home , believing they to be there , tossed a bomb and the explosion killed Jesse's young half-brother . This outrage brought much sympathy for the brothers . On 1876 Jesse and Frank in company the three Younger Brothers , attempted a bank robbery at Northfield , Minnnesota , and walked in disaster . The alerted citizens opened fire on the raiders , of the eight bandits involved , three were killed and three Younger brothers were captured . On 3 April 1882 Bob Ford , a new member of the gang , treacherously shot Jesse dead in back of the head in his home at St Joseph , Missouri .