Frank & Jesse (1995)

Frank & Jesse (1995)
5.8
  • 1327
  • R
  • Genre: Biography
  • Release year: 1995 ()
  • Running time: 105 min
  • Original Title: Frank & Jesse
  • Voted: 1327

At the end of the Civil War, Frank and Jesse James and other former guerillas who rode with Quantrill and Bill Anderson take the oath of allegiance to the Union. Feeling oppressed by Chicago railroad investors, the James and Younger brothers, Bob and Charlie Ford, Clell Miller and Arch Clements take to robbing banks, trains and coaches, with Pinkerton sworn to bringing them to justice.

#PersonCharacters
1Rob LoweJesse James
2Bill PaxtonFrank James
3Randy TravisCole Younger
4Dana Wheeler-NicholsonAnnie
  • This is an acceptable look at the known story of the West's greatest bandits being relentlessly pursued by Pinkerton Agency by 6

    An unsentimental and violent Western emphasising mythical conventions , starred by a good cast as the members of the band . Revisionist and contemporary study about famous outlaws : Jesse , Frank James and Younger brothers .This is a slight and plain biopic about Jesse/Frank James who ranks with Billy the Kid as the most famous of Western outlaws . Then Pinkerton detectives were hired by the railroad company to hunt down Jesse and Frank . Legend and folklore have cast him as a Robin Hood , a good boy forced by circumstances to follow a criminal life .¨Frank and Jesse¨ (1995) by Robert Boris with fine casting as Rob Lowe , Bill Paxton , Randy Travis , Dana Wheeler-Nicholson , Maria Pitillo , Luke Askew and Sean Patrick Flanery . Yet another recounting of the infamous James (Jesse: Rob Lowe , producer too , and Frank: Bill Pullman , this performance fraternity acquits itself well ) , who the public regarded them as heroes , from Missouri to Minnesota . It is set at the end of the Civil War, Frank and Jesse James and other former guerillas who rode with Quantrill and Bill Anderson take the oath of allegiance to the Union. Feeling oppressed by Chicago railroad investors, the James and Younger brothers : Cole and Bob Younger , Bob and Charlie Ford, Clell Miller and Arch Clements take to robbing Banks , trains , ambushes , and stagecoaches attacks , including the fateful Northfield raid with Alain Pinkerton (William Atherton) sworn to bringing them to justice . This one deals with origins , exploits and the ultimate fate of the Jesse James gang is told in an enticing portrayal of the bank robbers made up of brothers who begin their legendary bank raids because of vendetta ; these are the following ones : the James , Frank (Bill Pullman) and Jesse (Rob Lowe) , Cole Younger (Randy Travis ) , Bob Younger (Todd Field) , ,Clell Miller (John Pyper-Ferguson) and Arch Clements (Nicholas Sadler) . Later on , the agents surrounded the home , believing they to be there , tossed a bomb and the explosion killed Jesse's relatives . It is believed that Jesse took part in his first robbery in 1866 when a dozen men held up the bank in Liberty , Missouri . A bank cashier was killed in the raid and a reward was offered for each of the James brothers . In 1873 Jesse and his band derailed and robbed a train on the Rock Island line . Jesse married his cousin Zerelda (Maria Pitillo) , who bore him two children . As soon as railroad agents kill their father and hurt their mother , Jesse James and Frank take up robbing banks and trains and seek revenge . Then , the Pinkerton Agency is engaged to bring the James-Younger gang in . At the end James is betrayed by the treacherous Ford brothers : Charlie Ford and Bob Ford . As Jesse retires his erstwhile friend Robert Ford shoots him in the back to get the reward . On 3 April 1882 Bob Ford , a new member of the gang , treacherously shot Jesse dead in back of the head in his home at St Joseph , Missouri . Bad Is Good Again. This Much Fun Can't Be Legal! Sometimes the wrong side of the law is the right place to be .The civil war made them outlaws. The people made them heroes

    This is a laconic , deliberate , agreeable but slowly paced Western movie . There is a concentration on familiar rituals as the funeral , family reunion and band relationships ; but also on common Western rituals as train assaults , shootous , go riding and the spectacular robbing . It displays decent actors giving enjoyable acting , attempting not to make heroes of the boys , with a casting of known actors . The studio bought the rights to the James Brothers but changed some facts for psychological and family motivations , instead serving up a potted commentary on the conventions of the genre itself . The trump card here is the train assaults , shot in moving style and violently realized. It boasts a nice protagonist duo : Rob Lowe and Bill Paxton . And a top-notch support cast , such as : Randy Travis , Dana Wheeler-Nicholson , Maria Pitillo , Luke Askew , Sean Patrick Flanery , Alexis Arquette , Todd Field , John Pyper-Ferguson , Nicholas Sadler , among others . It packs an atmospheric and evocative cinematography by Walt Lloyd . And an attractive soundtrack by Mark McKenzie , fits magnificently to the flick . The motion picture was professional but deliberately directed by Robert Boris in average budget . Here Boris focuses on the subjects of brotherhood , kinship , friendship and about the territories taken wrongly by railway ; refusing to bother too much about historic events .

    This James/ Frank retelling has been adapted several times , ¨Frank and Jesse¨ has a distinguished company of movies , each version gutsier and bloodier than the last , such as : 1939 recounting ¨Jesse James¨ by Henry King with Tyrone Power , Henry Fonda , John Carradine , Brian Donlevy , Donald Meek ; ¨The return of Frank James¨ (1940) by Fritz Lang with Henry Fonda , Gene Tierney , Jackie Cooper , Henry Hull , John Carradine , J. Edward Bromberg . Critics argued the best movie that had been made about the Younger-James brothers prior to this was ¨The return of Frank James (1940) , "in the historical sense it was also the least accurate, but it had a real sense of character truth". ¨I shot Jesse James¨(1949) by Samuel Fuller with Preston Foster , Barbara Britton , John Ireland , J. Edward Bromberg ; ¨The true story of Jesse James¨ by Nicholas Ray with Robert Wagner , Jeffrey Hunter , Hope Lange , Agnes Moorehead , Alan Hale Jr , Alan Baxter , John Carradine . ¨The long riders¨(1980) by Walter Hill ,the film stars four sets of actual brothers: the Carradines, the Keachs, the Quaids and the Guests with Dennis Quaid , Randy Quaid , James Keach , Stacy Keach , David Carradine , Robert Carradine , Ever Carradine , Christopher Guest , Nicholas Guest . And has been portrayed most recently in ¨American Outlaws¨ (2001) by Les Mayfield with Colin Farrell , Ali Larter , Gabriel Macht , Terry O'Quinn and ¨The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford¨ (2007) with Brad Pitt , Casey Affleck , Sam Shepard .

  • Unpardonable by 3

    First of all, let me agree with the reviewer from Kansas City that if you want a historically accurate film about the James brother see "The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Bob Ford" based on the book by Rob Hanson. All other Jesse James movies are terribly inaccurate and misleading.

    At the end of "Frank & Jesse" is the disclaimer: "This motion picture is based upon actual events. However, some of the characters and incidents portrayed and many of the names used herein are fictitious; any similarity of such character, incident, or name, to the name, characters or history of any person, whether living or dead, is entirely coincidental and unintentional."

    Many of the events never happened. For example, Pinkerton and Jesse were never known to be in the same place at the same time The hilarious bathhouse romp and the shooting at the ferry involving the wives, Anne and Zee, resp. give a whole new meaning to "Mollification".

    Then there's the legend of the widow's mortgage. It's also attributed to Jesse's contemporary, Billy the Kid, as well as to Dick Turpin much earlier. The usual story has the outlaws repaying the widow's hospitality with cash for the mortgage and then waylaying the collector to retrieve the payment. The version in the movie is botched. A receipt is not obtained and the outlaws back off.

    Some of the incidents are time shifted to earlier dates to create more sympathy for the outlaws. Their step-father was harassed, but not killed, to try to find out where Frank and the border ruffians were hiding. The revenge fire bombing, which killed their young half-brother and severely wounded their mother, occurred nine years after the war and well after the gang had robbed several banks and trains and killed many innocent people. Clemency was never granted because of these deeds and their participation in atrocities under Quantrill and "Bloody" Bill Anderson.

    Most of the names used in the movie belong to actual people – but are often used incorrectly. As pointed out in earlier reviews Archie Clements died during the war. And the roles of the Fords are twisted. Was that deliberate to warn us that the details of the assassination were also being twisted to make Jesse appear to be more noble than he was?

    But on to the event with which I'm most familiar, viz. the attempted robbery of the Northfield bank. Please see the Wikipedia account which is as accurate as any. There were eight in the gang – Frank and Jesse; Cole, Bob and Jim Younger; as well as Charlie Pitts, Clel Miller and Bill Chadwell. The movie has six - Frank, Jesse, Cole and Bob, and also John Younger and Archie Clements, both of whom had been dead for some time. In fact, they were armed with four to six revolvers each which they wore under their dusters, but no rifles.

    There was no conspiracy. At least three movies have a conspiracy. Had there been one the defenders would have been better prepared. However, almost as soon as the raid began the locals were alerted and picked up two civil war single-shot rifles and several "fowling pieces" loaded with bird shot. Despite the fact that they are great movie clichés, nobody and no horses crashed through windows and nobody was up on the roof so they could get shot off the roof falling forward into the street. The defenders did out shoot the professionals; Miller and Chadwell received fatal wounds from the rifles. Two locals were killed – one of the bank clerks and a recent Swedish immigrant, deaths attributed to a James and Cole, resp. Both victims were unarmed.

    Beside clichés we have stereotyping in the movie. Minnesota = cold; right. Snow on the ground in early September? That's two months early. And fresh ice in the ice house three months early. O'Malley Saloon and the Oslo Theatre? No way; the town was owned by Yankees from New England. Although Scandinavians and a few Irish had started to arrive they hadn't yet worked their way onto Division Street.

    Posses were formed after the raid, but the James brothers were able to steal a succession of fresh mounts and rode through Dakota Territory and disappeared for three years, mainly in Nashville. Cole stayed behind to care for his brothers who were more seriously wounded. In a shoot out at Hanska Slough, seven members of a posse flushed the gang out of hiding and out shot them. Pitts was killed. The Younger brothers were captured, confessed and were imprisoned.

    The movie does scratch the surface to the question "Why was Jesse the way he was?". A greater question is "Why do we try to make heroes out of murderers?" The problem with movies like "Frank & Jesse" is that they perpetuate the myth that they were some kind of Robin Hoods. If you're looking for heroes consider Joseph Lee Heywood, the acting cashier who gave his life protecting the city, and Northfield citizens A. R. Manning and Henry Wheeler and the seven members of the Madelia posse who put the end to the gang of notorious cutthroats.

  • " I Am A Wily One" by 9

    The ever fascinating saga of Frank and Jesse James gets another treatment and a good one in Frank&Jesse starring Bill Paxton and Rob Lowe as the James Brothers.

    I've seen and reviewed now three films about the James brothers and their gang, Jesse James, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and now Frank&Jesse. It's interesting to me how similar the characters are in all the films.

    Jesse is the hardened bitter outlaw who may have started with justifiable reasons on his outlaw career, but has taken to the criminal life and likes it. And it brings out the bad points of his character as well. Whether played by Tyrone Power, Brad Pitt, or Rob Lowe, Jesse is given the same interpretation.

    As is Frank the charmer of the two brothers. Whether laconic charming like Henry Fonda or pretty garrulous as Bill Paxton does him, he's apparently the public relations man for the gang.

    The characters of the Younger Brothers are brought in here as well with country singer Randy Travis giving an outstanding portrayal of Cole Younger. In real life Younger like Frank James lived to a ripe old age way after the action in this film.

    Jesse is the king of outlaws, his reputation against fighting the railroads has made him notorious enough for Allan Pinkerton to be employed to take him down. Jesse is a wily one and after Pinkerton's nephew Tom Chick is killed in an attempt to arrest Jesse, it becomes a personal crusade for Pinkerton.

    As much as I liked the rest of the cast, the best in the film is William Atherton as the dedicated Allan Pinkerton. He's determined to use any means to bring Jesse and the gang and I do mean ANY.

    The wives have their moments also with Dana Wheeler-Nicholson as Frank's wife Annie and Maris Pitillo as Jesse's wife Zee. Pitillo's performance is hardly like the one by Nancy Kelly in the 20th Century Fox classic. She saves Jesse's bacon on one memorable occasion in the film.

    Frank&Jesse is one very good western which should have received a lot more attention than it did.

  • Boring and Derogative by 4

    This is a fantasy. Instead of telling a story about Frank and Jesse James, and the Cole brothers, all of which were bad people who robbed banks, trains, stagecoaches, and people in general--and murdered many. They are not heroes. They are villains. In this film, however, though many times described as doing horrible things and even shown as doing horrible things, they are painted as heroes.

    I can get over the inaccuracies. All movies have them. Some more than others but this one just seems to say, "Who cares?" -- and it doesn't. I am capable of separating the two and judging a film on the whole and rather than just nitpick it for certain things, such as historical accuracy.

    I can not picture Rob Lowe as Jesse James. Not even as I was watching it. And I thought perhaps that Bill Paxton could pull off Frank James but I was wrong. In the beginning I had hope for him but seemed as he played Frank as a clown.

    I won't lie and say there aren't good scenes but they don't make up for the rest of the film that is just overplayed, badly acted, and directed poorly.

  • Really Good Western Portrayal of Jesse and Frank James by 6

    This was the second Jesse James film I ever saw. I first saw American Outlaws and realized that it wasn't very accurate. This is not a great film like Dances With Wolves or Tombstone, but is very good in my book. It shows a lot about what the former confederates had to go through after the war. The movie really shows the darker side of Jesse James and how passionate he was about what he did. Rob Lowe, Bill Paxton, and Randy Travis are great. But why do they have to change things like Bob Younger being a mute, their first bank robbery being in 1869 when it was in 1866, the fact that Jesse was shot once in the head and the second shot missed, and Bob Younger being shot by his brother Cole when he was actually captured with Cole after the North Field Raid. I believe that these things could have been changed and made a even better movie. Besides some other little things this is a fine historical movie and one of my personal favorites. If you like it see The Long Riders.

#PersonCrew
1Walt Lloydcinematographer
2Mark McKenziecomposer
3Robert Borisdirector
4Christopher Greenburyeditor
5Cassian Elwesproducer
6Elliott Kastnerproducer