Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (2)
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'Jesse James' has rich-looking production values and a story to tell that borders on the mythic . . . or the demythologized. In this, the filmmakers couldn't decide.
Sluggishly directed by Henry King.
Henry Fonda is great as Frank James, and Tyrone Power is at his peak.
the first flick done upon the notorious legend of jesse james, and colors are saturated pleasantly in technicolor which really emphasizes on tyrone power's gorgeous face as well as the young henry fonda.
but power's jesse james is never convincingly masculine as a ruthless crime boss who is fueled intensely by the avengeful drive. his jesse james is more like a suavely polished gentleman who is compelled to revolutionalize against the unjust capitalist of railroad. perhaps henry fonda would be more appropriate as jesse james with his southerner idiosyncracy.
the later half of jesse james growing susceptibly cranky with appetite for violence particularly flops. there's no robbery scene actually shot but a remorseful james mourns for the lost trace of his newborn son. there's no rawness or urgent desperation in power as an outlaw. the film only shows the first crime the gang does by politely asking purses from the train passengers and their disastrous last bank-robbery which is not ballistically depicted. also the romance of jesse james takes the majority of the whole movie as the central wheel that is not well-strategied. it's strongly romanticized but does the audience feel moved by this affair? certainly not, it's more like trivial event of a genteel commoner who still deems conventional virtues. as a matter of fact, tyrone power impersonates his jesse james in the exact manners as he does in his constumed swashbuckler flicks.
audience who goes for jesse james are men with penchant for the outrage of crude manhood, a sort of populist idolization in the field of male icon, and they certainly feel enviously reluctant to watch an aristocratic tyrone power de-masculinizes jesse james with his distinguisged male beauty which outshines them. maybe the sequel "the revenge of frank james" directed by fritz lang has more prospect to look forward. and the only stirring sensation "jesse james" could have caused would probably be the pioneering alert of animal protection in cinema history since the production of this flick accidentally costed a life of one horse which seems even more consequential than "jesse james" itself.
A hugely entertaining version of the story, nicely shot in early Technicolor. Considering the size and weight of the cameras in those days, the use of real backgrounds in the posse chases is commendable and impressive. The second half, where the story takes a more serious turn, is less fun, but the film stands up very well.
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