JAMES, Jesse

(1847–1882)
   Of all the outlaws in the old West, perhaps only Billy the Kid has appeared in as many Western films as Jesse James. The basic details of the Jesse James story that occur in most film versions include the following: Jesse and his brother, Frank, fought with the Confederacy during the Civil War and at one point rode with William Quantrill in Kansas. After the war they returned home to find the railroad companies forcing families out of their homes. At this point, versions of the story differ. Some portray Jesse and the James gang as vicious outlaws on expeditions of murder and rapine. Others portray the James gang as Robin Hood types who were simply taking the part of the common people against evil robber barons. The James gang often allied with Cole Younger and his brothers, whose specialty was robbing trains although they also robbed banks. Frank was usually considered the gentler of the two brothers. Jesse married Zee Mims (or Cobb) and moved to Florida at the end of his career and changed his surname to Howard. One day in 1882, Bob Younger, a former gang member, sneaked up behind Mr. Howard and shot him in the back. An old song came out of the episode: “That Dirty Little Coward who Shot Mr. Howard.” I Shot Jesse James (1949) shows Bob Ford (John Ireland) watching Jesse through a window (Reed Hadley) as he hangs a picture. Ford shoots him in the back.
   All these parts of the legend have been disputed or modified at one time or another, but anytime Jesse James is mentioned in a film, it is generally assumed the audience will possess this minimal knowledge. Some of the stars who have played Jesse James include Tyrone Power in Jesse James (1939), Colin Farrell in American Outlaws (2001), and Brad Pitt in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007).

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • James,Jesse — James, Jesse. 1847 1882. American outlaw. After fighting in the Civil War as a Confederate guerrilla, he led a group of armed brigands that for 15 years robbed banks and trains in the West. He was murdered by a member of his own gang. * * * …   Universalium

  • James, Jesse; and James, Frank — ▪ American outlaws in full, respectively,  Jesse Woodson James  and  Alexander Franklin James   Respectively,   born Sept. 5, 1847, near Centerville [now Kearney], Mo., U.S. died April 3, 1882, St. Joseph, Mo. born Jan. 10, 1843, near Centerville …   Universalium

  • James, Jesse and James, Frank — in full Jesse Woodson James and Alexander Franklin James born Sept. 5, 1847, near Centerville, Mo., U.S. died April 3, 1882, St. Joseph, Mo. born Jan. 10, 1843, near Centerville, Mo. died Feb. 18, 1915, near Kearney, Mo. Brothers who were among… …   Universalium

  • James, Jesse y James, Frank — p.ext. Jesse Woodson James y Alexander Franklin James (5 sep. 1847, cerca de Centerville, Mo., EE.UU.–3 abr. 1882, St. Joseph, Mo.) (10 ene. 1843, cerca de Centerville, Mo., EE.UU.–18 feb. 1915, cerca de Kearney, Mo.). Hermanos que se contaron… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Strang, James Jesse — ▪ American religious leader also called  Jesse James Strang   born March 21, 1813, Scipio, N.Y., U.S. died July 9, 1856, Voree, Wis.  American churchman, dissident of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints (Mormons), whose futile attempt …   Universalium

  • Jesse James in music — Jesse James became a hero in folklore and dime novels before he was killed in 1882. A manifestation of this was the emergence of a wide body of music that celebrates or alludes to Jesse James. The most famous song about Jesse James is the folk… …   Wikipedia

  • Jesse James — Jesse Woodson James (* 5. September 1847 in Centerville, (später in Kearney umbenannt) im Clay County, Missouri; † 3. April 1882 in Saint Joseph, Missouri) war ein US amerikanischer Bandit und das bekannteste Mitglied der James Younger Bande.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jesse James — Nombre real Jesse Woodson James Nacimiento 5 de septiembre de 1847 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jesse G. James — Jesse Gregory James Jesse Gregory James en 2007 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Jesse E. James — Jesse Edward James (born August 31, 1875 – March 26, 1951), commonly known as Tim, was the only surviving son of American outlaw Jesse Woodson James. He was born in Nashville, Tennessee during the height of Jesse James career as an outlaw. His… …   Wikipedia

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