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426 Ratings

I Shot Jesse James

Directed by Samuel Fuller
United States, 1949
Drama, Romance, Western


After years of crime reporting, screenwriting, and authoring pulp novels, Samuel Fuller made his directorial debut with the lonesome ballad of Robert Ford (played by Red River’s John Ireland), who fatally betrayed his friend, the notorious Jesse James.

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I Shot Jesse James Directed by Samuel Fuller

Critics reviews

Montages of hyperbolic newspaper headlines indicate the influence of Fuller’s earlier career as a crime reporter, while the stark, direct filmmaking… proves what a riveting visual stylist Fuller was from the beginning. Meanwhile, a steamy bathtub scene between Ford and James presents a homosexual energy that is confirmed by the movie’s final line—by which point, each cut has taken on the force of a power jab to the chin.
August 04, 2014
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Naturally, this not being a Hollywood studio film—it was made possible by poverty-row producer Robert L. Lippert—Fuller had more leeway to make something suffused with disappointment and utterly devoid of heroism, but even by independent, B-movie standards of the time it’s a surprisingly muted, melancholy affair.
September 17, 2012
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