I Shot Jesse James (1949) - Rotten Tomatoes

I Shot Jesse James (1949)

I Shot Jesse James (1949)

I Shot Jesse James




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

I Shot Jesse James Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

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.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Western, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Samuel Fuller
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 21, 2007
Criterion Collection


John Ireland
as Bob Ford
Preston S. Foster
as John Kelley
Barbara Britton
as Cynthy Waters
Reed Hadley
as Jesse James
Barbara Woodell
as Mrs. Zee James
Tom Tyler
as Frank James
Tommy Noonan
as Charles Ford
Byron Foulger
as Room Clerk
Eddie Dunn
as Bartender
Robin Short
as Troubadour
Phillip Pine
as Man in Saloon
Gene Collins
as Young Man Who Tries ...
Margia Dean
as Saloon Singer
Chuck Roberson
as Reed Hadley's Double
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for I Shot Jesse James

Critic Reviews for I Shot Jesse James

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (3)

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

Full Review… | March 5, 2009
Top Critic

A commonplace movie.

Full Review… | December 12, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | August 25, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic


Full Review… | July 26, 2010

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

Full Review… | January 12, 2010
TV Guide's Movie Guide

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.

Full Review… | October 4, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for I Shot Jesse James

Sam Fuller has a soft-ish side, who knew?
Also the bathtub scene, almost as homo-erotic as Spartacus (almost).

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


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 off that scary or legendary) than the lead up to the event itself. The brief relationship (in this movie at least) between James and Ford is one of the most homoerotic things I've seen in 40s cinema. The post-James murder seems like it could've been any drama but just happened to have Robert Ford as one of the main characters. Samuel Fuller's direction is the main draw with this one because if you've seen The Assassination of Jesse James any other telling of the story is pretty much ruined for you. I Shot Jesse James isn't a great movie but reasonably groundbreaking for a 40s western.

Michael Gildea

Super Reviewer

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 sam fuller's first film and it's one of his best imo

Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

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