Today, Brad Pitt becomes one of a long line of actors to play the outlaw Jesse James. While The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford has received middling reviews, Pitt does hold his own. Still, many others have played Jesse James:
-Back in 1921, Jesse James’ son played his father in Jesse James under the Black Flag. The hour-long movie centers around, "James’ joining of the Quantrill’s raiders, a guerrilla force which
fought against union sympathizers during the Civil War. James takes
allegiance to the Black Flag, the raiders’ banner. After the war he
receives kind treatment from a judge concerning his acts of crime and
later meets and falls in love with Zee, with whom he wishes to live a
–Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter – I don’t know what they were thinking back in 1966, but this may be one of the first low-budget Western/horror hybrids.
–The Long Riders – Stacey Keach played Jesse in this compelling film by Walter Hill with a haunting soundtrack by Ry Cooder.
–The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James – Kris Kristofferson plays Jesse and Johnny Cash played his brother, Frank, in this made-for-TV effort. June Carter Cash was their mother. Even Willie Nelson had a small role. But outlaw singer David Allan Coe stole the show as Whiskeyhead.
American Outlaws – Here, Colin Farrell plays Jesse, but Farrell’s accent sometimes comes through. Critics generally regarding this $35 million western as a debacle.