Jesse James (1939): Blood Brothers / Part 1

16 Apr


the night they drove old Dixie down / Joan Baez / written by Robbie Robertson

“Those who love are never parted.”
– anon

Jesse James (1939)

Young Jesse James

James Family Photo – Jesse James (back row third from the left) next to his first cousin Zerelda “Zee” Mimms who became his wife. 

If there’s a theme that runs through the Jesse James saga,
it’s 
Family and Brotherhood.
Blood.

The James – Younger Gang:

Brothers that rode together:
– Jesse and Frank James
– Cole, Jim, John, and Bob Younger
– Charley Ford and Robert Ford
– Ed Miller and and Clell Miller

James – Younger gang … 1876 edition

Blood Deep / Blood Strong

Back then people stuck together:
‘Right or Wrong’? ‘Law and Order’?
Be damned.
Family is Right. Family is Law.
Clan.
Kin deep.
No bullet could penetrate that.
(Unless it came from within)

No wonder Jesse James seemed so invincible and impossible to catch. And had such a Robin Hood image (that is still intact today)

And why Robert Ford’s betrayal is so unforgivable.

John Carradine

Which brings us to John Carrindine – who played Robert Ford in Jesse James (1939).

Between the 1930’s and he 1990’s John Carradine
appeared in about 230 movies!!!
– not counting TV appearances and TV movies.
That makes him one of the most prolific Actors in Film History.
Not sure how many Westerns he made,
but there would have been a lot.
Several were Western Classics including Stagecoach (1939),
Johnny Guitar (1954) The Kentuckian (1955), The Shootist (1970) …

Between scenes he had time for 4 wives and 5 children,
most of whom also became Actors.

3 of his sons Starred in another Jesse James Western called:

The Long Riders (1980)

Stacy Keatch (center) as Jesse James, David Carradine as Cole Younger (left ), and Randy Quaid as Clell Miller (right).

3 excellent posters

A   Remarkable Cast
of 4 sets of Brothers:

Jesse James (James Keach) and Frank James (Stacy Keach)
Cole Younger (David Carradine), Jim Younger (Keith Carradine) and Bob Younger (Robert Carradine)
Ed Miller (Dennis Quaid) and Clell Miller (Randy Quaid)
Charley Ford (Christopher Guest) and Robert Ford (Nicholas Guest)

Most of these depicted outlaws did ride for the James – Younger gang at one time or another, but the movie takes liberty in putting them all together at the same time. But, like most Jesse James movies, this is not a documentary.
Wikipedia says: “The James-Younger gang … had over 50 different members over the years.”
The actual gang that attempted the ill fated Northfield Bank robbery consisted of of brothers Jesse and Frank James; brothers Bob, Jim, and Cole Younger; Clell Miller; Charlie Pitts; and Bill Stiles.

more coming … 

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