Tag: jesse james

MOVIE REVIEW | ***FONDA WEEK*** Jesse James (1939)


“He was one of the doggonedest, gawl-dingedest, dad-blamedest buckaroos that ever rode across these United States of America!”

It’s funny how history can be kind to some criminals. As mythologies build, all of a sudden intentions become more noble, back stories become more tragic, and the black and whites become more grey. In Australia, we have bush ranger Ned Kelly. He was portrayed (for some reason) by Mick Jagger in the 70s and Heath Ledger in the new millennium. Basically just a thief, outlaw and killer, the movies felt the need to make him a hero of the every man, fighting against oppression. In America, a very similar legend seems to have been built around Jesse James.

The American Civil War is over and the country is being rebuilt via a transcontinental railway. The only problem is, that new railway is coming at the expense of a lot of hard working people’s humble farms. Including that of the James family. When brothers Frank (Henry Fonda) and Jesse (Tyrone Power) James resist the intimidation tactics of the St Louis Midland Rail Road Company, the feud escalates until their mother is dead and the James boys are on the run after taking a little revenge. (more…)