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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

  • Drama
  • Crime/detective
  • 2007
  • Andrew Dominik
  • 153 mins
  • 15

Summary

Western drama starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck. The legend of Jesse James, one of the Old West's most notorious outlaws, as seen through the adoring eyes of the man who eventually killed him.

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Review

A star rating of 4 out of 5.

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.

Credits

Cast

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Jesse JamesBrad Pitt
Robert FordCasey Affleck
Frank JamesSam Shepard
Zeralda "Zee" JamesMary-Louise Parker
Dick LiddilPaul Schneider (2)
Wood HiteJeremy Renner
Dorothy EvansZooey Deschanel
Charley FordSam Rockwell
Ed MillerGarret Dillahunt
Tim JamesDustin Bollinger
IdaLauren Calvert

Crew

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DirectorAndrew Dominik

Details

Theatrical distributor
Warner Bros
Released on
2007-11-30
Languages
English | Danish
Guidance
Violence
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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