The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), starring Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, is now available on the HBO Go and HBO Now streaming services. Directed by Andrew Dominik and based upon a 1983 novel of the same name, the film is a meditative work on fame and friendship, set in the last year of the outlaw’s life. Pitt played James (1847-1882), and Affleck was Ford (1862-1892). HBO Go is the online video-on-demand service available to HBO TV subscribers, with HBO Now a stand-alone streaming service that does not require an HBO TV subscription.
This coming September 21st will mark the 10th anniversary of the release of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. To this writer, it is a film that rewards repeated viewings and with its strong ensemble acting, hauntingly melancholic cinematography, and moody score, it reaches beyond the Western genre. The film has grown in both critical and audience support during the past decade, and a recent revival movement, led by the website Jesse James Revival, saw a series of screenings in hopes that the film is placed into the programs of repertory movie houses. Here is one trailer for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford:
This site has written a number of posts about the film and recommended links for that analysis could begin with Jesse James in Melancholy Light, Extra Scenes from TAOJJ, and Film Poetry. The following scene is one highlight from the film of the complicated relationship that emerges between Jesse James and Robert Ford:
The final release version of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was 2 hours & 40 minutes, but there was in fact one 4-hour edit. Brad Pitt stated in an interview that the 4-hour version allowed even more character development. This writer believes that there is an audience for such an expanded edit of this powerful film. Will Warner Bros., the distributor, release that version on the 10th anniversary of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford? Many hope they do.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)