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James, Frank, 1844-1915 -- Drama, James, Jesse, 1847-1882 -- Drama, Outlaws -- Italy -- Drama, Outlaws -- United States -- Drama

The True Story of Jesse James


Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Hope Lange, Agnes Moorehead,

As a posse tracks down the James brothers after a botched bank raid in Minnesota, the film sets out to tell their "true story," which, in classic Ray fashion, shows Jesse turning outlaw as a reaction to the humiliation of Southern farmers in the aftermath of the Civil War. Echoing Rebel Without a Cause, Ray called this "a film about displaced youth." Superbly shot with a sweeping, dynamic sense of space and enclosure, and punctuated by sad ballads delivered by a blind wandering minstrel, Jesse James remakes a myth in very personal terms.

James Quandt
TIFF Cinematheque