The Return of Frank James

The Return of Frank James

Fritz Lang (1940)

88min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Henry Fonda had played Frank to Tyrone Power's Jesse in the superb Jesse James, and in this rather disappointing follow-up he spends all his time searching for brothers Charles and, in particular, Bob Ford (John Carradine), the "dirty little coward" who shot his own brother. But, unfortunately, Fonda has neither benefit of a decent script nor a sympathetic director, as Austrian émigré Fritz Lang makes heavy going of this lightweight material, and the movie lacks pace in places. The tedium of the tale is alleviated only slightly by the film debut of the beautiful Gene Tierney, who regrettably doesn't fulfil her acting potential here. The Technicolor helps, but the tempo is sluggish.

Summary

Former outlaw Frank James becomes a reformed character, but when his brother's killers are pardoned, he takes up his guns once more to carry out his own brand of justice. He is followed on his quest by a smitten female reporter who wants to record his story. Fritz Lang's Western sequel stars Henry Fonda, reprising his role from 1939 movie Jesse James, alongside Gene Tierney and Jackie Cooper.

Cast & Crew

Frank James/Ben Woodson Henry Fonda
Eleanor Stone Gene Tierney
Bob Ford John Carradine
Clem/Tom Grayson Jackie Cooper
Maj Rufus Cobb Henry Hull
Charles Ford Charles Tannen
Runyon J Edward Bromberg
McCoy Donald Meek
Director Fritz Lang
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourAvailable on: video and DVD
Drama