The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Andrew Dominik (2007)

153min
15 Certificate
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Review

Our Score
The overlong title betrays the serious mood of this portentous western: it's a powerful epic that teases out its fiercely contemporary theme with unnerving acuity. Brad Pitt delivers a career-topping performance as Jesse James, the notorious outlaw shot down by a turncoat member of his own gang, Bob Ford (Casey Affleck), a whining young wannabe who was once James's greatest fan. Locking these two protagonists - the celebrity and the stalker - in a deadly embrace, Kiwi writer/director Andrew Dominik (Chopper) turns their story into a timely tragedy about the perils of fame. Unwilling to simply print the legend, Dominik encourages Pitt to play James as a manipulative, unhinged psychopath. Meanwhile, Affleck's creepily sycophantic assassin comes into his own in the final third of the movie, forced to swallow celebrity's bitter pill as he becomes renowned and reviled as "The Man Who Shot Jesse James". Retaining its focus and incredible intensity even across the 150-minute running time, this is a remarkable achievement, and the finest western since Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven.

Summary

The younger brother of notorious bandit Jesse James' right-hand man has idolised the outlaw for years, and manages to work his way into the gang. Over time, he becomes increasingly disillusioned and his thoughts turn to betraying and murdering his former hero. Western, starring Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Rockwell and Sam Shepard.

Cast & Crew

Jesse James Brad Pitt
Robert Ford Casey Affleck
Frank James Sam Shepard
Zeralda "Zee" James Mary-Louise Parker
Dick Liddil Paul Schneider (2)
Wood Hite Jeremy Renner
Dorothy Evans Zooey Deschanel
Charley Ford Sam Rockwell
Ed Miller Garret Dillahunt
Tim James Dustin Bollinger
Ida Lauren Calvert
Director Andrew Dominik
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Warner BrosGuidance: ViolenceAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 30 Nov 2007
Drama