• United States
  • 1949
  • 81 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.33:1
  • English
  •  

After years of crime reporting, screenwriting, and authoring pulp novels, Samuel Fuller made his directorial debut with the lonesome ballad of Robert Ford (played by Red River’s John Ireland), who fatally betrayed his friend, the notorious Jesse James. At once modest and intense, I Shot Jesse James is an engrossing pocket portrait of guilt and psychological torment, and an auspicious beginning for the maverick filmmaker.

Cast

John KelleyPreston Foster
Cynthy WatersBarbara Britton
Robert FordJohn Ireland
Jesse JamesReed Hadley
KaneJ. Edward Bromberg
SoapyVictor Kilian
Frank JamesTom Tyler
BartenderEddie Dunn
Saloon singerMargia Dean
TroubadourRobin Short
Room clerkByron Foulger
Charles FordTom Noonan

Credits

DirectorSamuel Fuller
ScreenplaySamuel Fuller
Executive producerRobert L. Lippert
ProducerCarl K. Hittleman
CinematographyErnest Miller
Special effectsRay Mercer
Art directionFrank Hotalins
MusicAlbert Glasser
LyricsKatharine Glasser
EditingPaul Landres

Film Essays

Eclipse Series 5: The First Films of Samuel Fuller

By Nick Pinkerton August 13, 2007

Instead of calling “Action!” Samuel Fuller discharged a Colt .45 in the air. It was the first scene he had ever directed, on the set of I Shot Jesse James (1949), and he knew the importance of a . . . Read more »

Book Notes

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Juice, with Lots of Pulp: Samuel Fuller’s Brainquake

By Michael Atkinson November 05, 2014

A review of the American auteur’s posthumously published novel Read more »


Book Notes

Me and Sam Fuller

By Lisa Dombrowski December 29, 2008

It is a good time to belong to the cult of Fuller. Those of us who consider ourselves members never forget our moment of induction. Some enlisted when his films first hit the screen—lucky enough . . . Read more »


Film Essays

Eclipse Series 5: The First Films of Samuel Fuller

By Nick Pinkerton August 13, 2007

Instead of calling “Action!” Samuel Fuller discharged a Colt .45 in the air. It was the first scene he had ever directed, on the set of I Shot Jesse James (1949), and he knew the importance of a . . . Read more »