Thursday, 18 July 2013

Jesse James

Jesse and Frank James
Jesse Woodson James (1847 – 1882) was an American outlaw, gang leader, bank robber, train robber, and murderer from the state of Missouri and the most famous member of the James-Younger Gang. Already a celebrity when he was alive, he became a legendary figure of the Wild West after his death.

The James brothers were most active from about 1866 until 1876, when their attempted robbery of a bank in Northfield, Minnesota, resulted in the capture or deaths of several members. They continued in crime for several years, recruiting new members, but were under increasing pressure from law enforcement. [Wikipedia]

Brothers Charles and Robert Ford joined the outlaw gang in 1881. The Ford brothers decided to claim the $25,000 reward for the capture of Jesse James, making a deal with Missouri Governer Thomas T. Crittenden. The Governer also promised them a full pardon if they killed Jesse James.

On 3 April 1882, Jesse was at home and the Ford brothers were visiting, he decided to straighten a picture on the wall. Stepping on a chair to reach for the picture, Robert Ford stood up behind him, hands shaking, he pointed his gun at Jesse's head and fired. The bullet entered the base of his skull and into his brain. Jesse fell to the floor, dead.

Tyrone Power as Jesse James (1939) directed by Henry King, Jesse's brother Frank was played by Henry Fonda, Bob Ford was played by John Carradine.. Fonda would star in the sequel The Return of Frank James (1940) out to avenge his brothers murder.

Tough guy actor Lawrence Tierney played Jesse James in Badman's Territory (1946) starring Randolph Scott and directed by Tim Whelan.

Audie Murphy (second from left) as Jesse in Kansas Raiders (1950) directed by Ray Enright.

Macdonald Carey and Wendell Corey play Jesse and Frank James in The Great Missouri Raid (1951) directed by Gordon Douglas.

Lawrence Tierney again plays Jesse James in Best of the Badmen (1951) directed by William D. Russell and starring Robert Ryan. Tom Tyler played Frank James.

The True Story of Jesse James (1957) Starring Robert Wagner as Jesse and Jeffrey Hunter as Frank, directed by Nicholas Ray.

Cliff Robertson as Cole Younger and Robert Duvall as Jesse James in The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972) directed by Philip Kaufman.

James Keach as Jesse James and Stacy Keach as Frank James in The Long Riders (1980), directed by Walter Hill.

Colin Farrell as Jesse in American Outlaws (2001) directed by Les Mayfield.

Brad Pitt as Jesse James and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) directed by Andrew Dominik.

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