Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I Shot Jesse James

Revisited Samuel Fuller's first film (1949), one of the great debuts in film history. Already remarkable are the relish for storytelling, the sense of urgency, and the passion of the performances. Daring is the focus on the anti-hero and the loser. Not only is Bob Ford (John Ireland) an anti-hero, but he is a coward who shoots his best friend in the back. This is the story of an obsession and of twisted ambition. In his single-minded pursuit Bob Ford loses everything that has value for him. This is also a meta-film: Bob Ford has to hear the famous song written about him and gets even to act himself in the dramatization of his story. Samuel Fuller's great achievement is the psychological complexity and the irresistible psychological drive of the story. Much better than The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007).

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