Writer-director: Philip Kaufman
With Cliff Roberston, Robert Duvall, Luke Askew, R.G. Armstrong
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is just the latest of many revisionist Hollywood Westerns inspired by the famous outlaw. (For the standard, or visionist, version, see the 1939 Jesse James, starring Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda as the James brothers.) In this 1972 film, Duvall's Jesse is a sulfur-eyed, sociopathic evangelist of theft, and you can count on his gang (and the movie) borrowing liberally from the epochal seediness of The Wild Bunch. This is writer-director Kaufman in fine form, a decade before he created an anti-James gang, a posse of heroes, a mild bunch, in The Right Stuff.
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