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Did anyone else think "Jesse James" (1939) was kinda meh?


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*When I made my earlier comment-- which I maintain, without changing my opinion-- it was not based on looking at Gene Tierney in this film from the reference point of her later performances. I was not saying that she was miscast, in hindsight. I was saying that she was miscast because the role requires an actress who can tell this story from a more feminist point of view (someone like Katharine Hepburn). Even if Tierney had only made one film, I would say she's miscast. I do not think she was skilled enough to play the role as written. And I think that's why Fritz Lang was tough on her during filming, because he was trying to bring her along-- but she doesn't quite have what it needs, which is more than just a pretty face.*

 

*Don't get me wrong. I do like Gene Tierney in other films. But not in this one.*

 

Well, during the classic Hollywood studio era, there are any number of ingenues assigned to play roles of this nature; this was seen as a training ground for new talent. Obviously the thespian abilities of a Kate Hepburn were not deemed to be the qualities necessary for this type of leading lady role. Not to stray too far, Nancy Kelly had a similar job in JESSE JAMES, helping out at the printing press. Or in Fritz Lang's next western, WESTERN UNION, the role was played by Virginia Gilmore. Yes these are all Fox films, but all the studios seemed to assigned their pretty new contractees to similar front of the camera chores. It wasn't a question of how well they were able to play the part, but how well they photographed and elicited comments via fan mail from viewers.

 

 

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> {quote:title=Arturo wrote:}{quote}

>

> Yes these are all Fox films, but all the studios seemed to assign their pretty new contractees to similar front of the camera chores. It wasn't a question of how well they were able to play the part, but how well they photographed and elicited comments via fan mail from viewers.

Which is one reason why I have a growing respect and inn-terest for "your girl" (so to speak) Linda Darnell. It is astounding the Olympian gamut of roles she was forced into in all her years at Fox. Not only was she REALLY YOUNG when she started (and thus all the more challenged) , but she's pretty darn good in all of them and it's quite the variety: young latinas, a silent Virgin Mary, the concubine to the King Of Siam, Frontier Woman, and of course, the endless parade of whores.

 

A lot of people would've cracked under the pressure (and maybe she did) but *their on camera work would show it.* That doesn't seem to be the case with her at all, she steps up the plate and delivers every time (that I've seen.)

 

Oh shoot, I'm derailing me own thread.

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I hesitate somewhat to post the following as it is from wikipedia, and I know they have issues with accuracy (and I don't know what kind of math they're using, whether they adjust for inflation and whether they're factoring in re-release and even VHS/DVD data, but here goes:

 

TOP 2O HIGHEST GROSSERS OF 1939

 

.1. [Gone with the Wind|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind_%28film%29|Gone with the Wind (film)] Selznick International Pictures/MGM $400,176,459 2. [Jesse James|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_James_%281939_film%29|Jesse James (1939 film)] 20th Century Fox 3. [Gunga Din|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunga_Din_%28film%29|Gunga Din (film)] RKO 4. [Mr. Smith Goes to Washington|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Smith_Goes_to_Washington|Mr. Smith Goes to Washington] Columbia 5. "[The Rains Came|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rains_Came|The Rains Came]" 20th Century Fox 6. [babes in Arms|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babes_in_Arms_%28film%29|Babes in Arms (film)] MGM 7. [Dodge City|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_City_%281939_film%29|Dodge City (1939 film)] 8. [The Women|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Women_%281939_film%29|The Women (1939 film)] MGM 9. [Goodbye, Mr. Chips|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye,_Mr._Chips_%281939_film%29|Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939 film)] MGM 10. [The Wizard of Oz|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz_%281939_film%29|The Wizard of Oz (1939 film)] MGM $16,538,431 11. [Drums Along the Mohawk|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drums_Along_the_Mohawk|Drums Along the Mohawk] 20th Century Fox 12. [stanley and Livingstone|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_and_Livingstone|Stanley and Livingstone] 20th Century Fox 13. [union Pacific|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_%28film%29|Union Pacific (film)] Paramount 14. [Ninotchka|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninotchka|Ninotchka] MGM 15. [Another Thin Man|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_Thin_Man|Another Thin Man] 16. [The Old Maid|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Old_Maid_%281939_film%29|The Old Maid (1939 film)] Warner Bros. 17. "[Hollywood Cavalcade|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Cavalcade|Hollywood Cavalcade]" 18. "[Destry Rides Again|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destry_Rides_Again|Destry Rides Again]" Universal 19. "[Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Hardy_Gets_Spring_Fever|Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever]" MGM 20. Gulliver's Travels

 

*so, according to them* Jesse James *is the #2 grosser of the year,* *right behind only GWTW!!!!* Which is not how The Hollywood Reporer Book of Box Office Hits says it went down, but that is a boring and crappy book and I have come across an error or two in it.

 

It's worth noting also that Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda were also in other big grossers ( The Rains Came and Drums Along the Mohawk ) and that other westerns- Destry and Union Pacific did pretty well (in fact, Stagecoach which is often credited as being the film whose success revitalized the Western is nowhere on the list.)

 

 

ps- weird too, I've always read The Women and Ninotchka were not successful at the box office.

 

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on May 20, 2013 8:44 PM

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on May 20, 2013 8:49 PM

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We're talking about two different things. You are discussing star-making at 20th Century Fox, and I am talking about correct casting, based on what the scriptwriter intended the role to be. And the other examples you gave about ingenues in other films are meaningless and irrelevant to the casting of this role in this film. It still doesn't justify the miscasting of Gene Tierney in this film.

 

The part of the newspaper woman should be played with verve and she should be much more assertive than the way Tierney plays her-- she is, after all, a career woman in a man's world. She should be fighting the odds against her every step of the way, like the way Frank is fighting for his own brand of justice. The scene where she sits with the other men reporters was a wasted opportunity; it was done like she was joining a tea party.

 

I think Maureen O'Hara was under contract at RKO during this time, but she would have played it much better. And we still would have had a pretty face to look at, but with some skillful acting.

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>

> TOP 2O HIGHEST GROSSERS OF 1939

>

> .1. [Gone with the Wind|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gone_with_the_Wind_%28film%29|Gone with the Wind (film)] Selznick International Pictures/MGM $400,176,459 2. [Jesse James|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_James_%281939_film%29|Jesse James (1939 film)] 20th Century Fox 3. [Gunga Din|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunga_Din_%28film%29|Gunga Din (film)] RKO 4. [Mr. Smith Goes to Washington|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mr._Smith_Goes_to_Washington|Mr. Smith Goes to Washington] Columbia 5. "[The Rains Came|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rains_Came|The Rains Came]" 20th Century Fox 6. [babes in Arms|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babes_in_Arms_%28film%29|Babes in Arms (film)] MGM 7. [Dodge City|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge_City_%281939_film%29|Dodge City (1939 film)] 8. [The Women|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Women_%281939_film%29|The Women (1939 film)] MGM 9. [Goodbye, Mr. Chips|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodbye,_Mr._Chips_%281939_film%29|Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939 film)] MGM 10. [The Wizard of Oz|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wizard_of_Oz_%281939_film%29|The Wizard of Oz (1939 film)] MGM $16,538,431 11. [Drums Along the Mohawk|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drums_Along_the_Mohawk|Drums Along the Mohawk] 20th Century Fox 12. [stanley and Livingstone|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_and_Livingstone|Stanley and Livingstone] 20th Century Fox 13. [union Pacific|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_%28film%29|Union Pacific (film)] Paramount 14. [Ninotchka|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninotchka|Ninotchka] MGM 15. [Another Thin Man|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Another_Thin_Man|Another Thin Man] 16. [The Old Maid|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Old_Maid_%281939_film%29|The Old Maid (1939 film)] Warner Bros. 17. "[Hollywood Cavalcade|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hollywood_Cavalcade|Hollywood Cavalcade]" 18. "[Destry Rides Again|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Destry_Rides_Again|Destry Rides Again]" Universal 19. "[Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Hardy_Gets_Spring_Fever|Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever]" MGM 20. Gulliver's Travels

>

An Andy Hardy film beat out Beau Geste? Excuse me while I vomit...

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I like Henry Fonda and Carradine of this era, such as Grapes Of Wrath.....Carradine is very good also in Stagecoach......and if he didn't win supporting actor Oscar for Reverend Casey in Grapes Of Wrath, he was robbed.

 

I see what the starter of this thread is getting at.....and yes, Tyrone Power as Jesse does get upstaged by Fonda and Carradine ....but it would have took Gable or John Wayne as Jesse not to be. Henry Fonda and Carradine were great in this era.

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I much prefer WHEN THE DALTONS RODE, released by Universal in 1940. It's based on Emmett Dalton's book and is a much livelier oater than JESSE JAMES. The problem with this whole series of western bandit epics ushered in by JJ is that they are painfully whitewashed. MGM's entry was BILLY THE KID (also in Technicolor) with Robert Taylor. The same year, 1941, Warners released BAD MEN OF MISSOURI (in B&W), the story of the Younger Brothers. Warners remade this in 1949 (and in Technicolor) as THE YOUNGER BROTHERS.

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Dear Ray,

 

So glad you dropped in. Help me out here: I know you're the soundtrack expert: *am I nuts, or was there almost no score througout the entire movie Jesse James? Just the occasional 5-second music cue....*

 

(I don't know why this has become such an obsession of mine, but I'd say the film's lack of a soundtrack was one of its number one faults.)

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on May 21, 2013 8:33 AM

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> {quote:title=WhyaDuck wrote:}{quote}

>

> I see what the starter of this thread is getting at.....and yes, Tyrone Power as Jesse does get upstaged by Fonda and Carradine ....

>

Actually, no. There were many problems with the film, but one of the biggest was how *shamefully underused and underdeveloped* pretty much every character but Jesse James was. I get that Tyrone Power was THE BIG STAR, and he was the reason the film did so, so well (and Power looked great and did a pretty good job)- but the film really suffers because Frank James and Robert Ford were so blatantly pushed into the background for most of it.

 

So no, Fonda and Carradine in no way upstaged Power, they never really got the chance to.

 

ps- great actors both though.

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on May 21, 2013 8:40 AM

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well, gimme some better alternates then.

you're fast on your feet, I'm sure you can come up with something good.

 

Dead or Alive ?

The James Brothers Ride?

The Life and Death of Jesse James?

Barry Gordy Presents: Jesse James meets Cleopatra Wong in the Temple of Funk ?

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on May 21, 2013 10:48 AM

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For one, I wish that people would quit bringing up BOX OFFICE in discussions of a movie's quality, as we all well know that big box office reciepts isn't any indication of how good any movie really is.

 

 

Having said that, I'd have to further say that as westerns go, I do like this movie, but it isn't in the top ten of my favorite westerns.

 

 

In historical retrospect, although Jesse James was basically a good looking guy, Tyrone Power, pre-war, was too "pretty" to be Jesse. In any western, Power would seem best suited as the "dandy card-sharp" who just got into town off the stage. Of course, that part would go to a character actor, unless the card-sharp was the lead role, and Power, at the time, was TOO big a draw for the suits to allow him such a small presence.

 

 

Gene Tiereny's part in the sequel is inconsequential due to the fact that any of that crap probably didn't really happen. To me, it was JACKIE COOPER who was terribly miscast in that one!

 

 

All in all, I'd say that "JAMES" was two small steps SHY of "meh" for me.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I'm glad when people supply information as it relates to a movie, and box office take is just another piece of information. When I feel a movie is a stinker but it had a high box office take this information cause me to reflect on my judgement. I'm I being too harsh? Is the film really good but it just has an actor I don't like? Did I see it a long time ago and should I give it another change? etc.... I find that useful.

 

 

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}It's Barry White, and Berry Gordy.

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!

Seriously though: *Berry?*

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> {quote:title=AddisonDeWitless wrote:}{quote}Dear Ray,

>

> So glad you dropped in. Help me out here: I know you're the soundtrack expert: *am I nuts, or was there almost no score througout the entire movie Jesse James? Just the occasional 5-second music cue....*

 

There is almost underscoring in the picture. Not sure what the rationale was for this. But contrast it with Warners' DODGE CITY - which has one of the greatest horse opera scores of all times (nothing subtle - just wonderful spacious pastorales and thrilling action cues). DODGE CITY is a fan favorite and JESSE JAMES is, to many, a "meh" as originally stated below.

 

dodge.jpg

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***RayFaiola wrote:* *But contrast it with Warners' DODGE CITY - which has one of the greatest horse opera scores of all times (nothing subtle - just wonderful spacious pastorales and thrilling action cues). DODGE CITY is a fan favorite and JESSE JAMES is, to many, a "meh" as originally stated below.*

 

I guess there isn't much of anything about Dodge City that could be called subtle. But certainly its great epic-sounding musical score by Max Steiner is classic stuff, to be later reused by the same composer for another western six years later, San Antonio.

 

But when I say that Dodge City isn't subtle because it is so deliberately bigger than life, that's not a knock on it. The adult western of the '50s, which were often more psychologically driven and mature as entertainments, were still a good decade or so away.

 

 

The characterizations in Dodge City are strictly two dimensional, pretty standard stuff for the time, though, interestingly, it does offer Olivia de Havilland as a career woman wanting to get into the newspaper trade, unheard of for a woman at that time, I suppose. The screenplay has hero Errol Flynn giving her a bit of a gentle, chauvanistic chiding (in his own courtly gentlemanly way, of course) saying that she should, in essence, be home sewing buttons on a man's shirt instead

 

 

The film doesn't belabour that point because the emphasis of Dodge City is upon splashy Technicolor and (quite impressive) action scenes. I wonder how many women in the audience in 1939 agreed with Olivia's character's career ambitions, as opposed to the men, who probably sided with Flynn

 

 

In defense of the somewhat blander Jesse James (and bringing this back to the topic of the thread), I must say that I have always enjoyed Henry Fonda's laconic charm as Frank. I particularly like that moment near the film's beginning in which Fonda gets into a fight/half wrestling match with railroad baddie Brian Donlevy. The moment I love in that in which Fonda, with a struggling Donlevy pinned under his arm, takes the time to first casually spit out some tobacco juice before proceeding to knock his opponent to the ground

 

 

Tyrone Power strikes me as a tad glamourous as Jesse (but then the same thing applies in spades to Flynn as a town taming marshall in Dodge City). I thought that Power showed his first career signs of starting to mature as an actor, however, in the film's final scenes depicting Jesse as a family man hiding from the law while living under a false ID. Power would, though, be far more impressive the following year when he played another bandit, though of a swashbuckling kind, as Zorro, a film heavily influenced by the Flynn swashbucklers, in particular, Robin Hood.

 

 

220px-Jesse_james_portrait.jpg

The real Jesse

 

77c8180f9070c6680c2bd538897882eb.jpg

 

The reel Jesse

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Yes, Dodge City is full of energy but predictable. In many ways it is like the screenplay was created out of a 14 year old boy's fantasy, but the production values were very high and it is a well crafted action film. (I assume a flaw from TomJH POV is that Ann wasn't utilized more!). :)

 

As for Olivia being a working gal; well showing Olivia as a strong women was very common in most of her films with Flynn. Yea, she loved him but she wasn't going to take stuff from a man. To me this is key to their romance and it raises it above standard boy meets girl stuff.

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Well, James, Ann Sheridan got third billing in Dodge City but her screen time was more like that of tenth main player. Of greater concern, is the standard story line. Nor surprises, as you say.

 

Originally Jack Warner wanted to cast Frederic March as Wyatt Earp in a tale about a frontier marshall. (I can see how the right makeup could have made March a reasonable physical facsimile for Earp). March wasn't available, however, so it evolved into being a big budget Flynn production instead. Dodge City a likable film, worth seeing if only for what was probably the most lavish western saloon brawl of its time.

 

brawl.jpg

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Clearly WB cast Ann in Dodge City to boost the box office with the oomph girl, but if one takes a bathroom break, they may wonder 'hey, where was the oomph?". When I first saw the film many years ago I was really looking forward to seeing Olivia and Ann in the same film playing opposites. i.e. something along the lines of Destry Rides Again, but sadly Ann just didn't have enough screen time.

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> {quote:title=AddisonDeWitless wrote:}{quote}well, gimme some better alternates then.

> you're fast on your feet, I'm sure you can come up with something good.

>

> Dead or Alive ?

> The James Brothers Ride?

> The Life and Death of Jesse James?

> Barry Gordy Presents: Jesse James meets Cleopatra Wong in the Temple of Funk ?

>

>

> Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on May 21, 2013 10:48 AM

>

And then there is the classic, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter (1966)

 

51jliLLzSDL_SX500__zps110f25cb.jpg

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soPunOx80ms

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I should state my age first (66). I first saw Jesse James,Dodge City and Drums Along the Mohawk on television in the 50's. Of course it was in glorious black and white. Also many films of that time frame,were shown to us in elementary school. I was so impressed with them. Maybe the films had story issues or actor problems. Didn't bother me. I have seen these films many times over the years and they still entertain me.

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>You've got to have more than just the guy's name in the title. That has no pizazz.......For Lincoln, ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS or YOUNG MR. LINCOLN. Just ABE LINCOLN would have been a real snoozer.

 

Well, the 20th Century Fox remake (with Robert Wagner in the title role) was called THE TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES.

 

I would like to see TCM air that one!

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}

> Well, the 20th Century Fox remake (with Robert Wagner in the title role) was called THE TRUE STORY OF JESSE JAMES.

>

> I would like to see TCM air that one!

They did, back in October 2011 as part of the Nicholas Ray month. Some of the action scenes are footage taken from the 1939 film. John Carradine even shows up again, albeit in a different role.

 

 

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