- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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#2 movie in the great year of 1939
Not often recognized by cinema "historians," Jesse James was the number two picture in the most famous old Hollywood movie year of 1939. Power and Fonda were spectacular and spectacularly attractive in this grand old picture. The movie -going public loved them snd it's easy to see why. One of Power's other features, The Rains Came ranked #4 the same year.
Just watched Jesse James from 1939 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great movie making with a strong script and story, plenty of first -rate supporting players and wonderful performances by dynamic young leads, Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda. (IMO, far superior to the famous outlaw /buddy movie from 1969 that TCM showed earlier in the eveniing by comparison.) The story bends historical fact to glamorize outlaws but that's what movies often do--make folk heroes of outlaws. Richly textured and exciting cinema. Glad this version of Jesse James is available on DVD. Can 't wait to see it again.
Power and Fonda Click
Great pairing of Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda who are amazing together. Totally believable as brothers they make this romanticised story of outlaw gang sympathetic. A shame they never worked together again. Two wonderfully played leading roles and some solid character portrayals from the likes of Darwell Kelly Carradine and others bring Jesse James to vivid life. Terrific movie making, exciting and romantic, but not history!
romaticized version, but the best acting
Tyrone Power will never be topped as Jesse James, (even by Brad Pitt). Although this is the fictionalized version of the story of the outlaw, it is the myth of the west that people still want to see. The color, outdoor scenes, horse chases and acting is all top notch. Power is brilliant and never got the proper credit for being a consumate actor. Henry Fonda nearly steals the picture and Randolph Scott is very good in an early role. Watch Slim Summervale if you want to learn about subtle comedy genius.
The horses earned their oats
- In the Saddle
I started riding when stables rented horses for $3.00 a half day. We made sure we got our three dollars worth of horse running. After some hard riding, I loved watching westerns to see the horse chases and horse wrecks. Jesse James is one movie I have watched several times for the stunts. Eventually, I learned the story behind the horse stunts in the movie. Many years ago, in the mid 1970's, I met a family that lived outside of Joplin Mo. and they introduced me to some relatives that raised horses in the 1930's.Its been a long time, so my memory and details may be off. The production company came to them wanting horses for a movie. The horses were for the main stars so they had to look similiar. The movie production buyer also specified that the horses could jump or could be taught to jump. The family sold the movie company maybe six horses, I dont remember the exact amount. The horses were used for the stunts. THe horse stunts were trip wire falls. When the horse stunts were done, maybe three horses had broken legs or necks. That left the cliff scene. They tried riding the horses off the cliff but, the animals refused to go. So the production company built a trip chute at the top of the cliff. Men stood on the chute while the the rider led horse on it. Then, the men stepped off and, the horse and rider went over the edge. They sent a second horse over the edge the same way. Both horses broke their necks in the falls. When the family found out what happened to the horses, there was nothing they could do because the horses were sold.Now that the movie is out on DVD, I still watch the movie. The riding is still a thrill to watch.