Movies From the Hat V #7 – Markus’ Pick – The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (2007)


This is my 2956th Review

Thanks to Markus of The Marko Guy for this recommendation.

Here are his thoughts on the film.

“By his own approximation, Bob assassinated Jesse James over 800 times. He suspected no one in history had ever so often or so publicly recapitulated an act of betrayal. ” – Narrator

Number of Times Seen – 2 (26 Jan 2008 and 16 Mar 2017)

Brief Synopsis – True story of how one of the outlaw Jesse James closest friends ended up ending his life and becoming one of the most hated men in America instead of a hero for his act

My Take on it – This is a film that I saw years ago and liked but found it to feel quite drawn out.

I have been meaning to rewatch it for a while and thanks to this recommendation by Markus, I was able to finally give it a shot.

The story itself is a very interesting view of how a western can be done in a slow and dramatic pace and still keep things interesting despite not having a shootout every few minutes.

I liked the way that they try to explore the idea of fame being a motivation to commit an act that some can look at as heroic and some cowardice.

This film uses narration to give us a feeling that we are quite close and intimately part of the story and gives us a more fly on the wall type of feeling.

This allows us to better understand everything that is transpiring in front of us.

The story moves a bit slowly and I think parts could have been excised to make it flow a little better tho.

The cast is superb here with Casey Affleck and Brad Pitt both giving great performances (it’s rare that either of them doesn’t give a great performance ever tho) as the two main characters.

In addition, Sam Shepard, Mary-Lousie Parker, Sam Rockwell, Jeremy Renner, Ted Levine and even James Carville are all great in pivotal roles.

This is a rare case where the title of the movie (which is deliberately long) supposedly tells us so much about a film but in reality, the story is so layered that there is so much that unexpected happens.

The film is slightly a bit too long for its own good, but the truth is, if you are prepared to watch a slow and deliberate Western, you are in for a very enjoyable ride.

Bottom Line – Interesting yet very slow look at how fame can be such a huge motive for someone to commit an act. The narration in this film works extremely well to give us more of a sense of being a fly on the wall.  Great cast led by Affleck and Pitt.  Really loved how the title makes it seem as if you know everything you need to about the story but in reality, it is so very layered that you don’t really know what to eventually expect.  A bit too long for it’s own good, but if you go into it with a feeling of patience, it can be quite an experience. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Of all the films made about Jesse James, his descendants have claimed that this is the most accurate. They were especially enthusiastic about Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck’s performances. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy

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2 thoughts on “Movies From the Hat V #7 – Markus’ Pick – The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

  1. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  2. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2007 |

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