David -Jesse James (1939)- The first popular, big budget film about the infamous
outlaw, this movie is notorious for its historical inaccuracy, but that is not the
point. This is not a documentary, it is a Hollywood movie created for entertainment.
Hollywood westerns, as a rule, play fast and hard with historical facts. Show me
an accurate Hollywood portrayal of Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Wild Bill Hickock,
or Bat Masterson.
This one is no different. It shows the legend of the Robin Hood-like Jesse up against
the evil railroad barons. It barely mentions the Civil War in the written introduction,
but is never mentioned by anyone in the movie. It only shows Jesse killing one man
in revenge for the death of his dear, sweet mother.
The movie also has the disticion of being one of the examples the Humane Society
noted as a reason to start monitoring Hollywood for cruel treatment of animals during
film making. Check out the daring horse dive off the cliff into the river. In defense
of the filmakers, they maintained the horses had soft landings set up just below
the camera range, and were not forced off a high cliff as it appears in the movie.
Accurate or not, we western lovers just sit back and enjoy them for the entertainment
they provide. This one has a good cast featuring Tyrone Powell, Henry Fonda, John
Carradine, and Brian Donlevy.
Oh, I forgot to mention Randolph Scott as a friendly antagonist. How could I forget
to mention Randolph Scott?
May 6, 2014 _ __
Jesse James - Western, Crime, Drama. Jesse and Frank James become bandits after being
forced of their farm by the railroad.