I Shot Jesse James
I Shot Jesse James (1949)

Stylish western in which Bob Ford, the killer of legendary outlaw Jesse James, who winds up re-enacting the killing as part of a stage show! First film from writer/director Samuel Fuller.

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: February 26, 1949
DVD Release Date: August 21, 2007
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Critic Score: 78% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

While Preston Foster and Barbara Britton carry star roles, it's John Ireland, as the notorious Bob Ford, who dominates the story.

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Fernando F. Croce


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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

Fuller points out the absurdity of the entire concept of modern myth-making, and kicks off the grand tradition of subversive neo-Westerns.

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Thomas M. Pryor
New York Times

A commonplace movie.

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TV Guide

Fuller uses effective close-ups in this stylish western, giving a fresh psychological twist to familiar narrative ground.

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Christopher Null

Interesting mainly because it's Samuel Fuller's first film, showing off a few of his trademark touches -- but not enough to make the movie stand on its own.

Time Out

As such, more a psychological drama (emphasised by the use of close-up) than a Western, and a highly original film.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The focus of this delightfully perverse character study Western is not on Jesse James, but on Bob Ford being a man cursed by his infamy as a Judas figure.

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Keith Uhlich
House Next Door

Fuller goes deeper into his protagonist's tortured psyche, uncovering a sublimated sense of love that only finds expression as climax to his death rattle.

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More reviews for I Shot Jesse James

Flixster Audience Score: 67% Flixster User Reviews
Ken Stachnik
Sam Fuller has a soft-ish side, who knew? Also the bathtub scene, almost as homo-erotic as Spartacus (almost).
Chris Browning
As the legendary Samuel Fuller's debut film, "I Shot Jesse James" is a western with Fuller's trademark close-up shots and psychological… More
Michael Gildea
I Shot Jesse James deals more with the historically questionable exploits (i.e. the love story) of Robert Ford after killing Jesse James (who didn't come… More
Patrick Dolan
This film seems to has more in common with your pulp crime novel than your average western. Even the direction seems rather unique to the genre, and maybe has… More
Stella Dallas
the title event takes place in the first twenty minutes and the rest of the film follows robert ford's haunted and hunted life after the fact. this was… More