Jesse James

Jesse James

Henry King (1939)

U Certificate


Our Score
This western virtually canonises notorious outlaw Jesse James, here sympathetically portrayed by Tyrone Power as a glamorous Robin Hood-style figure of the old west, riding out to right wrongs alongside his brother Frank, played by Henry Fonda. The rich 20th Century-Fox Technicolor is superb, and whether the real Jesse was as dashing or handsome as Power is irrelevant: this is stirring stuff, brilliantly directed by Henry King, one of the great masters of on-screen Americana, though would it have looked any different if the great John Ford had made it? Nunnally Johnson's screenplay ignores most of the facts, but who cares. The legend lives on.


The James brothers embark on a life of crime after their mother's death and swear revenge on the tycoon they hold responsible. Jesse and Frank hope to bring his apparent good fortune to an end by wreaking havoc on the railways, in which he has a sizeable stake. Western, starring Henry Fonda, Tyrone Power, Nancy Kelly and Randolph Scott.

Cast & Crew

Jesse James Tyrone Power
Frank James Henry Fonda
Zee Nancy Kelly
Will Wright Randolph Scott
Maj Rufus Cobb Henry Hull
Barshee Brian Donlevy
Bob Ford John Carradine
Mrs Samuels Jane Darwell
Director Henry King
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century Fox Film Co. LtdAvailable on: video