The Return of Frank James
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
This Technicolor sequel to 1939's Jesse James does without the services of the earlier film's star Tyrone Power, who after all was shot dead by that "dirty little coward" Bob Ford (John Carradine). Repeating his portrayal of western outlaw Frank James, Henry Fonda is promoted to top billing here. As depicted by scenarist Sam Hellman, Frank has retired from his life of crime to become a peaceful farmer, though he has never given up his search for the treacherous Ford. The killer and his cohorts are eventually rounded up, but are pardoned due to political intervention.… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 83%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As a snapshot of what mindless popcorn cinema looked like in 1940, it's a flattering example, still watchable and breezy even if it's not remotely challenging on any level."
‑ Tim Brayton, Antagony & Ecstasy
"Gets by with its remarkable photography (an early attempt at color for Lang), crisp action sequences and breezy storytelling."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"The abstruse stylization of Rancho Notorious is still a decade away, though the frontier is already a severe plain enlivened by intimations of hellfire"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"The film is short on action but long on courtroom melodrama, not a good balance for a routine Western."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Fine Fritz Lang telling of Frank James (Fonda) in sequel to Jesse James."
‑ Steve Crum,
More reviews for The Return of Frank James on Rotten Tomatoes