The acclaimed PBS series American Experience will re-broadcast its Jesse James documentary tonight (May 7th) at 8pm EST (7 CST). This episode was part of the PBS Wild West series that aired over 6 consecutive weeks in early 2012.

The 1-hour documentary draws upon such credible historical biographers as T.J. Stiles to provide commentary and context for an exploration of Jesse James the man and Jesse James the myth. Stiles authored the comprehensive Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War (2002) in which he situates the Missouri-born James as more a post-Civil War Confederate than any anti-corporate Robin Hood.

Jesse James was assassinated by a member of his own gang in 1882 at age 34. The PBS film examines how James has served as a projection for public needs both during his life and afterward. Over three dozen feature length films have been made about Jesse James. In the estimation of this writer, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), which starred Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, remains the seminal James film to date.

Further information about the PBS film Jesse James can be found at this link: Jesse James

To view the film’s first chapter, please visit this link: Jesse James – Ch.1

PBS will also re-air the Annie Oakley episode from its Wild West series next Tuesday, May 14th at 8pm EST (7 CST).

(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)

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