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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

3.8 out of 5 stars 519 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Assassination of Jesse James, The (DVD) (WS)

International superstar Brad Pitt (Troy) stars as legendary outlaw Jesse James in this Western drama based on Ron Hansen's best-selling novel The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford.A charismatic, superstitious and moody man, Jesse James (Pitt) presides over a ragtag gang of outlaws who fear his quick temper and even quicker shooting ability. Young Robert Ford (Casey Affleck - Ocean's Twelve) worships Jesse and joins the James Gang, only to become resentful of his hero. Intent on taking Jesse's place, the young upstart hatches a plan to kill the fastest gun in the West. But after gunning Jesse James down, Robert Ford lives out the rest of his days tormented by the cold-blooded killing of his former mentor.

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Product Details

  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Sam Shepard, Mary-Louise Parker, Paul Schneider
  • Directors: Andrew Dominik
  • Writers: Andrew Dominik
  • Producers: Brad Pitt, Brad Grey, Tony Scott, Dede Gardner, Ridley Scott
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (519 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010DR4BO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,392 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kaya Savas VINE VOICE on October 10, 2007
Verified Purchase
As a fan of the western genre I look forward to pretty much every western I hear is in the works since they come so few and far between nowadays. I am also a huge fan of Sergio Leone and Terrence Malick; two directors who use extremely long takes with exquisite deep focus photography. I had never heard of Andrew Dominik until I researched this film, and when I checked his history and saw that he had only done one other film called Chopper I felt skeptical as to what he would do with The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. Then I saw the trailer which sent chills up my spine and even made my eyes water, and this film became my top priority for the fall.

The film follows Robert Ford and two of his brothers as they join the James brothers for one final robbery. Robert Ford played brilliantly by Casey Affleck sees Jesse James as his idol. He followed his stories throughout his childhood and he wants nothing more than to be accepted by this man. Affleck portrays Ford as a very insecure and quiet man who almost feels ashamed for being himself. Being the youngest of five brothers one can assume he is tired of being at the bottom and one day wants the fame and attention that someone like Jesse James gets. Brad Pitt plays the complex Jesse James brilliantly with a performance that will send chills up your spine. His character is pretty hard to analyze. One can infer that James is a man who enjoys his reputation but sometimes longs for a life without the attention so that he can be happy with his wife and family. Another important character in this film is that of Charley Ford who is played by the great Sam Rockwell. With this film Rockwell proves he is capable of amazing things as an actor.
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THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD is one of the finer films about the history of the Old West 'heroes' such as Jesse James. It is difficult to describe the degree of high quality of the way in which this film has been created: the script (adapted by Andrew Dominick from Ron Hansen's novel) is as poetic as it is gritty and flows like a Shakespearean tragedy both in narration and in dialog; the exceptionally fine cinematography by Roger Deakins captures the flavor of the times, shot in subtle lighting whether in darkly intimate interiors or on the vast plains at times heightened by snowlight, but always in the feeling of the quality of daguerreotypes; the musical score by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis is strangely apropos without seeming to borrow from any previous source; and the cast of fine actors play the film as a true ensemble work. Director Andrew Dominik has accomplished a masterpiece.

The story begins subtly in the last year of the James gang at the final train robbery in 1881. Jesse James (Brad Pitt) and his brother Frank (Sam Shepard) have gathered remnant criminals to bolster their decimated gang - Dick Liddel (Paul Schneider), Ed Miller (Garret Dillahunt), and Wood Hite (Jeremy Renner) among them. The Ford brothers want to ride with Jesse: 19-year old Robert (Casey Affleck) idolizes Jesse and his older brother Charley (Sam Rockwell) enjoys the attention of the gang's fame. Jesse James, at only age 34, is at the end of his career, content to be at home with his wife Zee (Mary Louise Parker) and children. But Robert's adoration results in a chain of events that slowly dissembles the gang and results in Robert's obsessive revenge for Jesse's murder of one of the members fired by the promise of reward for the capture of Jesse James, dead or alive.
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I can't say enough about this near-perfect motion picture. If it is guilty of moving a little slowly in some parts, and (the inevitable critical refrain when shooting a historical picture) taking liberties with supposed fact, then it more than makes up for that in so many other ways. I can only say I hope this team of actors, directors, producers and writers gets together again soon to make another film. This is history, filmmaking, biography, storytelling, and the presentation of the legends of Americana as they all ought to be, and shame on the Academy for slighting this movie at the (increasingly out of touch) Oscars. As along with its pitch-perfect narration and soundtrack it alternates from its slightly fuzzy dreamy quality to its pull-no-punches brand of stark realism, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford weaves a hypnotic tale as has little else I've ever seen. If anyone thinks to dismiss either Brad Pitt or Casey Affleck as lightweight actors, watch this and learn otherwise. I'd put this on the ten best list of the 2000's thus far. Congratulations to everyone involved in this great classic.
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This film is a breathtaking account of the life and times of Jesse James. I am in complete awe that this movie wasn't more widely released because it was the best film of the year. Brad Pitt, Sam Rockwell and Casey Affleck give astounding performances, but Affleck's portrayal of the tormented and obsessive ally to James is beautiful and absolutely unforgettable. It is a shame that movies like this can come out and be mostly ignored...it should at least be nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Cinematography.
This is a must see and once you do yourself the favor of indulging in this epic, you will then know why.
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