I Shot Jesse James


Action / Drama / History / Romance / Western

Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

John Ireland Photo
John Ireland as Bob Ford
Tommy Noonan Photo
Tommy Noonan as Charles Ford
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747.52 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 21 min
P/S ...
1.36 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 21 min
P/S 0 / 3

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by classicsoncall7 / 10

"You're the target for every gun-happy man around here."

The general outline of this story bears resemblance to the historical facts, but as with many of these older films, a fair amount of liberty is taken in the telling. For one thing, most of the players look a lot older than the actual characters they portrayed in real life. In fact, Cynthy Waters (Barbara Britton) even mentions how Jesse's wife Zee (Barbara Wooddell) looks fifty years old instead of thirty, though qualifies that by stating how a hard life with Jesse contributed to it. Reed Hadley as Jesse James looks more like the mature Abraham Lincoln, while John Ireland looks about the same age as Jesse, but Bob Ford was only twenty years old when he shot Jesse in the back. Aside from all that, the story leaves one with the impression that Ford's guilt over shooting Jesse managed to follow and haunt him for the rest of his life. The side story of Ford's relationship with Cynthy works to give the outlaw a human side, even while he was trying to capitalize on his infamy by appearing in staged recreations of the murder. That never really worked out for Ford, as Jesse, in death as well as in life, was considered a Robin Hood like hero to the citizens of Missouri.

The film's conclusion has John Kelley (Preston Foster) getting the drop on Ford in what looks like your typical showdown, but what actually happened was a man by the name of Edward Capeheart O'Kelley practically ambushed Ford in a tent in Creede, Colorado. Probably the best movie treatment of the relationship between the James and the Ford brothers can be found in the 2007 movie "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford". Without hesitation, I'd recommend that one to all Western movie fans because of it's treatment of a renowned historical figure, and also to non-Western fans for the intensity of the personal stories on center stage. The fact that it's beautifully filmed is a bonus.

Reviewed by MartinHafer6 / 10

A different take on the traditional views on Jesse James and his killer

How sane can people idolize a cold-blooded, murdering and thieving scum like Jesse James? Over the decades, many, many films have portrayed James as sort of a "Robin Hood of the West", even though there was nothing to admire about the man. And, after he was killed by a member of his gang, songs were composed to the honor of James and declaring that the shooter, Bob Ford, was a coward. The way I see it, cowardly or not, shooting Jesse James in the back was a great day for mankind! Now I cannot compare this film to the recent film "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" since I haven't seen it--hopefully it sticks closer to the facts. However, it's pretty obvious by the title that they take a very strong anti-Ford position. While Ford was a bad man, I just can't see how his killing James was anything other than a glorious day for mankind--just as if someone had "murdered" Ted Bundy.

I SHOT JESSE JAMES repeats many of the myths since they abounded even during the time of James' death, but tries to explain Bob Ford's motivations--though I am unsure just how much anyone today can explain this accurately. At least it doesn't try to show the conflict in the usual black & white terms--with the myths of Jesse as the victim and Ford as a coward. Unfortunately, while the film debunks some of the worst myths about James and Ford, it creates some new ones---particularly how Ford died at the end of the film. Like the death of Jesse James, Ford was shot in the back at close range in real life--why they made him die in an "honorable" shoot-out is beyond me. This is specially strange when the film appears to be an attempt to tell Ford's true life story.

The part of Bob Ford was played in I SHOT JESSE JAMES by John Ireland. Ireland was an extremely effective actor in Film Noir pictures of the day and is one of my favorite actors in the genre. Here he's in one of the rare Westerns he made and he did a pretty good job. I couldn't believe that one reviewer admitted that although they didn't know much about Ireland said how much they hated his acting. This seemed like a cheap shot and I wish they'd see some of his other films, such as THE GOOD DIE YOUNG or RAILROADED!.

As for Sam Fuller's direction, this was his first effort and was amazingly effective even if the script was full of holes and clichés. Apparently this was all filmed in only 10 days, but the film appears complete, tight and well thought-out. For a 10 day effort, the film SHOULD suck--which it certainly does not.

My advice is probably not to watch any of the films about Jesse James--after all, he was scum. Plus, until they free these films from all the clichés and rhetoric, I'm inclined to recommend that you instead read a book about him or Bob Ford.

By the way, the famous song about the sad death of James at the hand of Ford that you hear in the film wasn't written until the 1920s, though there were other similar songs and stories written around the time of his death.

Reviewed by bkoganbing6 / 10

Akin To The Kind Of Celebrity OJ Enjoys

After seeing The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, one realizes just how dated this film is as compared to the one that Casey Affleck won an Academy Award nomination for. That more recent film is far closer to the truth. It certainly has the right age for Robert Ford in real life was barely out of his teens, not an adult as John Ireland was in this film, nor a host of others who've played Ford in various Jesse James movies.

Still this western made by Samuel Fuller, his first as a director, does have a landmark status of sorts with a fine performance by John Ireland in the title role. According to this version he did this one for love and that huge amnesty money promised by the Governor of Missouri which he never got, that part is true. It was love of Barbara Britton who plays the object of Ireland's affections.

The real Robert Ford and John Ireland in this film must have thought he'd be a hero. His celebrity such as it was was akin to what O.J. Simpson got after his acquittal. People who kill for a bounty were regarded then as now as a necessary evil, but not folks you invite to your dinner table.

Samuel Fuller got good performances out of Ireland, Britton and the rest of a fine cast. It's not a bad Jesse James film, a man who has never ceased to fascinate Hollywood.

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