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  • rnau-124 January 2013
    First of all, let me agree with the reviewer from Kansas City that if you want a historically accurate film about the James brother see "The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Bob Ford" based on the book by Rob Hanson. All other Jesse James movies are terribly inaccurate and misleading.

    At the end of "Frank & Jesse" is the disclaimer: "This motion picture is based upon actual events. However, some of the characters and incidents portrayed and many of the names used herein are fictitious; any similarity of such character, incident, or name, to the name, characters or history of any person, whether living or dead, is entirely coincidental and unintentional."

    Many of the events never happened. For example, Pinkerton and Jesse were never known to be in the same place at the same time The hilarious bathhouse romp and the shooting at the ferry involving the wives, Anne and Zee, resp. give a whole new meaning to "Mollification".

    Then there's the legend of the widow's mortgage. It's also attributed to Jesse's contemporary, Billy the Kid, as well as to Dick Turpin much earlier. The usual story has the outlaws repaying the widow's hospitality with cash for the mortgage and then waylaying the collector to retrieve the payment. The version in the movie is botched. A receipt is not obtained and the outlaws back off.

    Some of the incidents are time shifted to earlier dates to create more sympathy for the outlaws. Their step-father was harassed, but not killed, to try to find out where Frank and the border ruffians were hiding. The revenge fire bombing, which killed their young half-brother and severely wounded their mother, occurred nine years after the war and well after the gang had robbed several banks and trains and killed many innocent people. Clemency was never granted because of these deeds and their participation in atrocities under Quantrill and "Bloody" Bill Anderson.

    Most of the names used in the movie belong to actual people – but are often used incorrectly. As pointed out in earlier reviews Archie Clements died during the war. And the roles of the Fords are twisted. Was that deliberate to warn us that the details of the assassination were also being twisted to make Jesse appear to be more noble than he was?

    But on to the event with which I'm most familiar, viz. the attempted robbery of the Northfield bank. Please see the Wikipedia account which is as accurate as any. There were eight in the gang – Frank and Jesse; Cole, Bob and Jim Younger; as well as Charlie Pitts, Clel Miller and Bill Chadwell. The movie has six - Frank, Jesse, Cole and Bob, and also John Younger and Archie Clements, both of whom had been dead for some time. In fact, they were armed with four to six revolvers each which they wore under their dusters, but no rifles.

    There was no conspiracy. At least three movies have a conspiracy. Had there been one the defenders would have been better prepared. However, almost as soon as the raid began the locals were alerted and picked up two civil war single-shot rifles and several "fowling pieces" loaded with bird shot. Despite the fact that they are great movie clichés, nobody and no horses crashed through windows and nobody was up on the roof so they could get shot off the roof falling forward into the street. The defenders did out shoot the professionals; Miller and Chadwell received fatal wounds from the rifles. Two locals were killed – one of the bank clerks and a recent Swedish immigrant, deaths attributed to a James and Cole, resp. Both victims were unarmed.

    Beside clichés we have stereotyping in the movie. Minnesota = cold; right. Snow on the ground in early September? That's two months early. And fresh ice in the ice house three months early. O'Malley Saloon and the Oslo Theatre? No way; the town was owned by Yankees from New England. Although Scandinavians and a few Irish had started to arrive they hadn't yet worked their way onto Division Street.

    Posses were formed after the raid, but the James brothers were able to steal a succession of fresh mounts and rode through Dakota Territory and disappeared for three years, mainly in Nashville. Cole stayed behind to care for his brothers who were more seriously wounded. In a shoot out at Hanska Slough, seven members of a posse flushed the gang out of hiding and out shot them. Pitts was killed. The Younger brothers were captured, confessed and were imprisoned.

    The movie does scratch the surface to the question "Why was Jesse the way he was?". A greater question is "Why do we try to make heroes out of murderers?" The problem with movies like "Frank & Jesse" is that they perpetuate the myth that they were some kind of Robin Hoods. If you're looking for heroes consider Joseph Lee Heywood, the acting cashier who gave his life protecting the city, and Northfield citizens A. R. Manning and Henry Wheeler and the seven members of the Madelia posse who put the end to the gang of notorious cutthroats.
  • bkoganbing20 November 2007
    The ever fascinating saga of Frank and Jesse James gets another treatment and a good one in Frank&Jesse starring Bill Paxton and Rob Lowe as the James Brothers.

    I've seen and reviewed now three films about the James brothers and their gang, Jesse James, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and now Frank&Jesse. It's interesting to me how similar the characters are in all the films.

    Jesse is the hardened bitter outlaw who may have started with justifiable reasons on his outlaw career, but has taken to the criminal life and likes it. And it brings out the bad points of his character as well. Whether played by Tyrone Power, Brad Pitt, or Rob Lowe, Jesse is given the same interpretation.

    As is Frank the charmer of the two brothers. Whether laconic charming like Henry Fonda or pretty garrulous as Bill Paxton does him, he's apparently the public relations man for the gang.

    The characters of the Younger Brothers are brought in here as well with country singer Randy Travis giving an outstanding portrayal of Cole Younger. In real life Younger like Frank James lived to a ripe old age way after the action in this film.

    Jesse is the king of outlaws, his reputation against fighting the railroads has made him notorious enough for Allan Pinkerton to be employed to take him down. Jesse is a wily one and after Pinkerton's nephew Tom Chick is killed in an attempt to arrest Jesse, it becomes a personal crusade for Pinkerton.

    As much as I liked the rest of the cast, the best in the film is William Atherton as the dedicated Allan Pinkerton. He's determined to use any means to bring Jesse and the gang and I do mean ANY.

    The wives have their moments also with Dana Wheeler-Nicholson as Frank's wife Annie and Maris Pitillo as Jesse's wife Zee. Pitillo's performance is hardly like the one by Nancy Kelly in the 20th Century Fox classic. She saves Jesse's bacon on one memorable occasion in the film.

    Frank&Jesse is one very good western which should have received a lot more attention than it did.
  • This was the second Jesse James film I ever saw. I first saw American Outlaws and realized that it wasn't very accurate. This is not a great film like Dances With Wolves or Tombstone, but is very good in my book. It shows a lot about what the former confederates had to go through after the war. The movie really shows the darker side of Jesse James and how passionate he was about what he did. Rob Lowe, Bill Paxton, and Randy Travis are great. But why do they have to change things like Bob Younger being a mute, their first bank robbery being in 1869 when it was in 1866, the fact that Jesse was shot once in the head and the second shot missed, and Bob Younger being shot by his brother Cole when he was actually captured with Cole after the North Field Raid. I believe that these things could have been changed and made a even better movie. Besides some other little things this is a fine historical movie and one of my personal favorites. If you like it see The Long Riders.
  • This is a fantasy. Instead of telling a story about Frank and Jesse James, and the Cole brothers, all of which were bad people who robbed banks, trains, stagecoaches, and people in general--and murdered many. They are not heroes. They are villains. In this film, however, though many times described as doing horrible things and even shown as doing horrible things, they are painted as heroes.

    I can get over the inaccuracies. All movies have them. Some more than others but this one just seems to say, "Who cares?" -- and it doesn't. I am capable of separating the two and judging a film on the whole and rather than just nitpick it for certain things, such as historical accuracy.

    I can not picture Rob Lowe as Jesse James. Not even as I was watching it. And I thought perhaps that Bill Paxton could pull off Frank James but I was wrong. In the beginning I had hope for him but seemed as he played Frank as a clown.

    I won't lie and say there aren't good scenes but they don't make up for the rest of the film that is just overplayed, badly acted, and directed poorly.
  • As much as I keep hearing the mantra on here that the historical inaccuracies are forgiven if it is a good movie. Well, it is extremely inaccurate and it is not a good movie.

    If you would like to make a western and ignore the majority of the facts, go ahead, just change the names of the characters and there will be no problem. Maybe it is because I live in the area that this movie is located, but it makes me cringe when I see Jessie's home as a two story mansion in St. Joseph when I have toured the actual home many times and the house is no bigger than my living room. The Northfield raid was horrendous with more inaccuracies and contrived stunts that seemed to be added to the movie just because they were filmed.

    The acting was bad with Lowe looking like a glamor shots version of Jessie and Paxton alternating between playing Frank James as Frank James and Frank James as Doc Holiday. I give this movie a 5 just because it is a western and it could be a serviceable story if they would have just changed the names.

    All in all, there were many times I was just itching to reach up and grab my 'The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Bob Ford' DVD and throw it in, but I waited to watch all of 'Frank & Jessie'. If you have the choice, just watch 'Assassination' again (which was extremely accurate and well written and acted), and you'll be better for it.
  • Regarded as a paraphrase rather than a real docudrama, this film does reveal some truths amid the fiction. Whatever one may think about the exploits of the James brothers and their various gangs, one cannot but have grave misgivings about the proto-fascist activities of Alan Pinkerton as the paid lackey of the railroad and banking interests in the post Civil War era. This "great detective" hired by the U.S. government to organise espionage against the Confederacy has been reliably reported as "manufacturing" most of the information submitted to President Lincoln.

    The characters ascribed to the James brothers here is likely close to the truth, but why the contradictions of known facts. Their step-father Samuels was hanged by Pinkerton agents, not shot. Bob Ford, not Charlie, is the known assassin of Jesse James. This could have been a fine historical film, but some truth does emerge as initially said. The railroads and banks of the post Civil War era were proto-fascism at work in a very vicious form, and Alan Pinkerton was their "Himmler".
  • I'm a huge fan of the likes of The James, Doc Holliday, Wild Bill, Billy The Kid, and Wyatt Earp. This was a great movie, I really enjoyed it. But I still have questions for authenticity. At the very beginning of the movie, Jesse standing there swearing allegiance to the Union, Jesse & Frank road with Bloody Bill Anderson many years after the end of the Civil War, tried surrendering to Union forces and was shot at. Then we have Arch Clements with his speaking problem, which he did have very authentic...only problem of course is that he died before the Civil War ended. Then I don't recall Bob Younger being deaf, no mention that Zee was his cousin and named after his mother, Cole didn't have to shoot Bob they were both caught along with John Younger after the Minnesota robbery cause they were all three caught alive. And of course they have the wrong Ford killing him at the end. And despite what it depicts, they hardly robbed from the Rock Central Railroad, they only robbed them maybe twice. Most of there jobs were Express Trains.

    I don't know why they had to change facts, did having Arch Clements in it make it a better movie, was having Bob deaf a better character. Did his death instead of capture make for a better movie. And why not have the real Ford brother acknowledged, and maybe show his deal with the government. Jesse James life could have made a great movie without all the changes. Don't get me wrong I still loved the movie, just don't feel it was very accurate. I'm sure there are many more flaws, I just can't remember much of them now.
  • The umpteenth retelling of the James gang story, Frank And Jesse is loaded with historical inaccuracies and blatant audience manipulation, but as a good old southern boy who still hasn't made peace with the Union, I'm suspending my BS detector and declaring this an awesome movie and one of the best westerns of the nineties!

    This is full of bloody shootouts and action packed escapes. Also, the period detail is much better than later independently produced westerns. My only problem is that all the best scenes are early on in the film and the rest of it suffers by comparison.

    Rob Lowe is probably the the last person I would have expected to star as Jesse James and I must admit I was a bit skeptical of him (translation: too pretty) but he did a good job portraying Jesse as an innocent youth pushed by the carpetbaggers and unforgiving northerners into becoming an avenger of southern pride and human dignity (the afore mentioned audience manipulation) before causing his own downfall through arrogance and carelessness.

    As Frank James, Bill Paxton gives an excellent performance that left me wondering why he hasn't been in more westerns.

    William Atherton and Luke Askew, as the villains, also stand out in this well cast movie.
  • When the war was over the Confederates (Rebels) did not get much. They were forced to sell their farms to the railroad even if they did not fight in the war. There is a question that has plagued my mind for some time. If I lived back then and some one blew up my house and killed my little brother and father what would I do? I would probably do the same thing, and pick up arms against the people who did it. The movie "Frank and Jesse" depicts the life of the gang and family around them. The reasons why they did what they did and the truth to what had happened Alan Pinkerton (William Atherton) is portrayed as someone who did not care what happened to others and that was how he is in real life. He spent most of his life trying to catch some one who he could not catch. Jesse James (Rob Lowe)was portrayed as always seen in real life and legend never to turn back on what he believed no matter how bad it looked. Frank James (Bill Paxton) was seen the same way as well as the others: Cole Younger(Randy Travis) Bob Younger (Todd Field), Clell Miller(John Pyper-Ferguson), and Archie Clements(Nick Sadler). The only complaint that I have about this movie is the film location. It was filmed in Arkansas and not Missouri but it sure looked like Missouri to me till I found out where it was filmed. But the pictures that were shown in the movie were realistic which made it seems that The James Younger Gang was still alive and well today.
  • Even the qualyof the cast, all experienced actors, could save this movie. Even if one could get past the ridiculous historical errors (fundamentally disregarding the James' origin story) it's hard to watch this nonsense. Wooden acting, cliched script and unmotivated players passing time until their next project. Production values seem high at least.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There's a saying about not letting the truth get in the way of a good story, and I think that might have been the film maker's approach here. The picture is riddled with inaccuracies throughout, and if the story had left out the names of Frank and Jesse James it might have been more serviceable as an entertaining Western. I'm not necessarily a stickler for one hundred percent accuracy in historical movies, but this one fell short by a long shot.

    The casting here is a little suspect too. I can't picture Rob Lowe as the outlaw Jesse James. But since he got the nod, I thought he should have exhibited some of the maniacal excess that Emilio Estevez showed in portraying Billy the Kid in the 'Young Guns' films. The 'real' James/Younger Gang was formed by Frank James and Cole Younger, but it was the much younger Jesse who rose to prominence because of his brash and outspoken style. The inclusion of Randy Travis here as Cole wasn't too bad, but I had to wonder how much of his casting was dependent on someone singing 'Auld Lang Syne' in the latter part of the picture.

    Ticking off some of the historical errors - the gang never met Allen Pinkerton during a train robbery, Jesse's wife Zee never killed anyone, it wasn't Jesse's idea to head for Northfield, Minnesota, and Cole Younger didn't shoot brother Bob while on the run. Maybe there will never be a film that's totally accurate about the James/Younger Gang, but a couple of them get close - "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" and "The Long Riders" are both pretty good, and the earlier film has that very cool horse jump through the storefront windows during the Northfield bank raid (which didn't actually happen, but is more believable than most of this picture).

    As if to add insult to injury, I happened to freeze the frames of the newspaper headlines about the James Gang exploits during the movie, and the underlying text had nothing to do with such captions as 'James Gang Robs Train' and 'Charlie Ford Captured'.

    But probably the biggest problem I had was in the depiction of Jesse's murder by the Fords. It appeared that Jesse was in some way sacrificing himself with his outstretched arms in supplication, as if to atone for his ruthless outlaw life. The implication of self directed suicide by leaving his gun on the table was just too blatant, right after watching his wife and young son agonize over their next move as a family. A movie by any other name would have been more satisfying.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After having rented some other 90s Westerns,i got recommend this film.Having not heard of this film at all before watching it,i have to say i was really surprised about how good it was!. The plot: Four years after The Ameerican Cival War has ended.The famous outlaws Frank and Jesse James decied to re-form there old gang,after feeling the the "working man" is getting misused by some Chicago investors.What they don't know is the some of there gang members will plan things that are going to lead to one of there's blood getting spilt...

    View on the film: The cast:I have to say that while the supporting actors do a really good job,the main stand-outs are Rob Lowe and Bill Paxton as the James brothers.They both make you feel they really could be brothers!,with Lowe as the gun-slinging James and Paxton as his worn and tired out brother Frank. The Screenplay/Direction: The film was written and directed by Robert Boris.The clever thing Boris did was to start the film from a different place then where most Westerns start.In that,instead of having a feel-good ending,he makes the start feel-good,and then makes the ending into a bit of a dark feel(in a really good way.)

    Final view on the film: A really good and very under-rated recent Western.
  • You know, I always find myself tutting and shaking my head after viewing a film about the infamous outlaws, Frank & Jesse James. Not because of the quality of each film, which ranges from good to awful over the years, but because of the tired old statements about accuracy that scream out from critics both amateur and professional. I'd be screaming too if the makers of film's such as this one proclaim it to be " thee" true story of the James boys, but since no publicity about such things like "facts" was to be found, I was able to venture into a mid 90s Western with no expectation of historical accuracy and hopefully be entertained by a movie that follows more the myth of the men than the reality. And entertained I was too.

    Frank & Jesse stars Rob Lowe as Jesse James and Bill Paxton as Jesse's brother Frank James. The story picks up following the Civil War where the two brothers, recently stung by the senseless murder of their younger brother, hook up with the Younger brothers - Cole Younger (played by Randy Travis) and Bob Younger (Todd Field), Bob Ford (Jim Flowers) and Charlie Ford (Alexis Arquette), Clell Miller (John Pyper-Ferguson), and Arch Clements (Nick Sadler), and start to fight back against the Chicago railroad investors. They set off on a trail of crime, robbing banks, trains and enacting stage holdups whilst evading the dogged pursuit of Allan Pinkerton (William Atherton) and his detective agency. But as Jesse's fame grows on account of an adoring public led by the press imagery of the man, so the gang get closer to being caught, or worse still, killed.

    Directed by Robert Boris, Frank & Jesse was a limited release in 1994/95. Tho obviously a TV movie In all but name, it does however boast a more than admirable cast. Lowe, in spite of looking uncomfortable on a horse, looks the part and proves to be a good casting choice. His cocksure way about him fits nicely into Jesse's shoes, whilst the goatee beard steers one away from seeing the "pretty boy" actor instead of the character. Paxton is always solid and reliable, and no change here, with one naked bathroom scene an absolute delight. It's a scene that sees Frank meet his future wife Annie, here played by Dana Wheeler-Nicholson, and Western fans will note that that pairing sees the actors re-teamed after appearing together in Tombstone 1993. Of the others, Travis stands out as the most believable of the support rogues, while Nick Sadler quietly gives the best performance in the movie as Arch Clements. A fine young actor who can be checked out in the likes of Twister, Disclosure, Scent of A Woman, & Mobsters.

    The writing is safe, if a touch too cliché riddled and hurt by some dialogue that doesn't belong in the time, while the action scenes are more than up to scratch. Notably a shoot out at Northfield, Minnesota, that's as good as anything in the afore mentioned Tombstone. Walt Lloyd does a good job with the cinematography, some nice hues used for the town sequences, tho your eyes may be dragged away by Mark McKenzie's score as it is unable to fully grasp the mood at times. But by and large there's more than enough here for the Western fan to enjoy. Unless of course you need a wall to wall history lesson in your Oaters that is? 6.5/10
  • An unsentimental and violent Western emphasising mythical conventions , starred by a good cast as the members of the band . Revisionist and contemporary study about famous outlaws : Jesse , Frank James and Younger brothers .This is a slight and plain biopic about Jesse/Frank James who ranks with Billy the Kid as the most famous of Western outlaws . Then Pinkerton detectives were hired by the railroad company to hunt down Jesse and Frank . Legend and folklore have cast him as a Robin Hood , a good boy forced by circumstances to follow a criminal life . ¨Frank and Jesse¨ (1995) by Robert Boris with fine casting as Rob Lowe , Bill Paxton , Randy Travis , Dana Wheeler-Nicholson , Maria Pitillo , Luke Askew and Sean Patrick Flanery . Yet another recounting of the infamous James (Jesse: Rob Lowe , producer too , and Frank: Bill Pullman , this performance fraternity acquits itself well ) , who the public regarded them as heroes , from Missouri to Minnesota . It is set at the end of the Civil War, Frank and Jesse James and other former guerillas who rode with Quantrill and Bill Anderson take the oath of allegiance to the Union. Feeling oppressed by Chicago railroad investors, the James and Younger brothers : Cole and Bob Younger , Bob and Charlie Ford, Clell Miller and Arch Clements take to robbing Banks , trains , ambushes , and stagecoaches attacks , including the fateful Northfield raid with Alain Pinkerton (William Atherton) sworn to bringing them to justice . This one deals with origins , exploits and the ultimate fate of the Jesse James gang is told in an enticing portrayal of the bank robbers made up of brothers who begin their legendary bank raids because of vendetta ; these are the following ones : the James , Frank (Bill Pullman) and Jesse (Rob Lowe) , Cole Younger (Randy Travis ) , Bob Younger (Todd Field) , ,Clell Miller (John Pyper-Ferguson) and Arch Clements (Nicholas Sadler) . Later on , the agents surrounded the home , believing they to be there , tossed a bomb and the explosion killed Jesse's relatives . 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 (Maria Pitillo) , who bore him two children . As soon as railroad agents kill their father and hurt their mother , Jesse James and Frank take up robbing banks and trains and seek revenge . Then , the Pinkerton Agency is engaged to bring the James-Younger gang in . At the end James is betrayed by the treacherous Ford brothers : Charlie Ford and Bob Ford . As Jesse retires his erstwhile friend Robert Ford shoots him in the back to get the reward . 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 . Bad Is Good Again. This Much Fun Can't Be Legal! Sometimes the wrong side of the law is the right place to be .The civil war made them outlaws. The people made them heroes

    This is a laconic , deliberate , agreeable but slowly paced Western movie . There is a concentration on familiar rituals as the funeral , family reunion and band relationships ; but also on common Western rituals as train assaults , shootous , go riding and the spectacular robbing . It displays decent actors giving enjoyable acting , attempting not to make heroes of the boys , with a casting of known actors . The studio bought the rights to the James Brothers but changed some facts for psychological and family motivations , instead serving up a potted commentary on the conventions of the genre itself . The trump card here is the train assaults , shot in moving style and violently realized. It boasts a nice protagonist duo : Rob Lowe and Bill Paxton . And a top-notch support cast , such as : Randy Travis , Dana Wheeler-Nicholson , Maria Pitillo , Luke Askew , Sean Patrick Flanery , Alexis Arquette , Todd Field , John Pyper-Ferguson , Nicholas Sadler , among others . It packs an atmospheric and evocative cinematography by Walt Lloyd . And an attractive soundtrack by Mark McKenzie , fits magnificently to the flick . The motion picture was professional but deliberately directed by Robert Boris in average budget . Here Boris focuses on the subjects of brotherhood , kinship , friendship and about the territories taken wrongly by railway ; refusing to bother too much about historic events .

    This James/ Frank retelling has been adapted several times , ¨Frank and Jesse¨ has a distinguished company of movies , each version gutsier and bloodier than the last , such as : 1939 recounting ¨Jesse James¨ by Henry King with Tyrone Power , Henry Fonda , John Carradine , Brian Donlevy , Donald Meek ; ¨The return of Frank James¨ (1940) by Fritz Lang with Henry Fonda , Gene Tierney , Jackie Cooper , Henry Hull , John Carradine , J. Edward Bromberg . Critics argued the best movie that had been made about the Younger-James brothers prior to this was ¨The return of Frank James (1940) , "in the historical sense it was also the least accurate, but it had a real sense of character truth". ¨I shot Jesse James¨(1949) by Samuel Fuller with Preston Foster , Barbara Britton , John Ireland , J. Edward Bromberg ; ¨The true story of Jesse James¨ by Nicholas Ray with Robert Wagner , Jeffrey Hunter , Hope Lange , Agnes Moorehead , Alan Hale Jr , Alan Baxter , John Carradine . ¨The long riders¨(1980) by Walter Hill ,the film stars four sets of actual brothers: the Carradines, the Keachs, the Quaids and the Guests with Dennis Quaid , Randy Quaid , James Keach , Stacy Keach , David Carradine , Robert Carradine , Ever Carradine , Christopher Guest , Nicholas Guest . And has been portrayed most recently in ¨American Outlaws¨ (2001) by Les Mayfield with Colin Farrell , Ali Larter , Gabriel Macht , Terry O'Quinn and ¨The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford¨ (2007) with Brad Pitt , Casey Affleck , Sam Shepard .
  • poly-nikes17 June 2012
    The whole sequence of the ill-fated raid by the gang on the Northfield bank was totally unrealistic. Anybody count the number of shots the outlaws fired from their revolvers in that scene? I always thought the pistols of that era held a maximum of six rounds; well, five actually, to be safe. You wouldn't want to be bouncing around on horseback with the hammer of your pistol resting on a live round. It's silliness like this that spoils so many Westerns. In "Open Range," for instance, the Kevin Costner character fires far more than six shots from his revolver before reloading in the otherwise pretty good climactic gunfight. And at the end of "Wild Bill," another good film, Jeff Bridges fires at least twenty shots from his pair of six-guns.
  • This film in my opinion is the best told story of the outlaw legends frank and jesse james. Rob Lowe gives and outstanding performance as jesse james and Bill Paxton gives, in my opinion , the best performance of his career as frank james.

    Also watch for performances by Randy Travis as cole younger and William Atherton as the pinkerton man. This film keeps a great story line and Robert Boris does an outstanding job in the directing. Also, be sure to listen for the great music score and for some songs sung by Randy Travis. This rates on my top 5 favorite films of all time. It is a truly enjoyable film to watch.

    Frank And Jesse is rated R for strong violence,brief nudity,and some mild language. Id just thought id go on ahead and tell ya.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Over the years there have been many films depicting the lives & events of the James Gang. A few of them were more or less factual, this version is more fiction than fact. Rob Lowe & Bill Paxton are the James boys.

    Of course IMHO the best Jesse & Frank were Tyrone Power & Henry Fonda, Rob & Bill do not come close..

    The most glaring and obvious error was this,. IT WAS BOB FORD not CHARLIE FORD that shot Jesse in the back at end of film.

    There are other errors as well, which will not be detailed.

    Alexis Arquette portrays Charlie Ford, He does try I will say that,

    William Atherton gives the best performance as the detective Alan Pinkertion, he is a fine actor to boot & here he does a first class job. This may have been a better film if the acting by the leads was better. The production credits were OK.

    ratings **1/2 out of 4---67 points out of 100 IMDb 5 out of 10

    NOTE on points the 67 grad is just 3 points above a ** rating
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I noticed that at least one commenter said that Bob Younger was depicted as deaf in the movie. He was supposed to be mute only, there was no mention of him being deaf. In the scene of Jesse being shot, it is clearly Bob Ford that shot him, but the narration, by Randy Travis, states that it was Charlie Ford. Obviously somebody wasn't paying attention. I can't believe that editing didn't catch it. Also, I don't know if any of the people who commented noticed it either. Another question that I have is why wasn't Martin Kove mentioned, even as uncredited? It was a small scene, but that face could not be mistaken for anybody else. Other than that, it was an enjoyable movie!!!
  • But other than getting the names correct this movie totally ignore history. The Northfield portion was ridicules. They didn't plan to be in Northfield, it was a backup bank. The Pinkerton's weren't there. Heck the fact is Jesse and Frank probably weren't even there. It shows Cole riding off after shooting his brother. He was shot over 50 times and Northfield, and 90 times in his life. He then went to prison and was released in the early 1900's He died of old age. Shot 90 time and lived. What an amazing man. The real criminals of the ear was the railroads. The killed and stole from the average folks. That is why Jesse and Frank were heroes.
  • It appears that "Frank & Jesse" was intended for a theatrical release, but I have uncovered no evidence that it actually played in theaters. Seeing the movie, I think I know why it went straight to video. It's not a BAD movie, but it is lacking in some key areas.

    First of all, I feel I should express my feeling about the movie's historical accuracy. I feel I should say that not being an expert about the James gang, whether the movie was accurate or not did not concern me that much. When a movie based on a true story is made, they often take creative license. I judge a movie on how well it tells its story, accurate or not.

    So how is "Frank & Jesse" executed? Well, there are some problems. First of all, there is the budget. While the movie never looks seriously cheap, the budget was obviously not lavish. Often the movie has a made-for-TV feel to it. Also, possibly due to a limited budget, the movie often feels rushed, not giving us enough scenes like proper introductions to characters (like the Younger gang), as well as there being TWO montages that compress the many deeds of the gang in a few seconds.

    On the other hand, there are some good things about the movie. The acting is surprisingly good by everyone - even Rob Lowe gives a good performance. There is a good musical score by Mark McKenzie. The movie is shot on some good atypical locations that you usually don't see in a western. And while the movie may have some faults, I can't say that I was bored at any point.

    This isn't a movie that will convert non-western fans into lovers of the genre. But those who love westerns will probably forgive the movie's shortcomings and find it decent entertainment.