The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) Review

Robert Ford (Casey Affleck) idolised Jesse James (Brad Pitt) when he was younger and even had a list of how similar himself and Jesse were. The list he made when he was 12, which I think made it more important that Robert had idolised Jesse for years.


He done all he could to join the gang as his brother Charlie (Sam Rockwell) was already a member, this made it a bit easier for Robert to get involved. Robert was very determined that he would be the one to kill Jesse James.

After the deed was done, Robert Ford who was 20 years old at the time, put on a play showing how he assassinated Jesse James. Charlie Ford was also in the play, he did not have much acting ability but after a while he soon started to speak more like Jesse and did not trust his brother. He wrote letters of apology to Jesse’s wife asking for forgiveness but he did not mail any of the letters. He then killed himself, for his part in the assassination.

Robert Ford was seen as a coward, and did not take kindly to people calling him a coward. Towards the end of the film, the scene with someone singing a song about it, when Robert stops him is so powerful.

Casey Affleck gave a fantastic performance as Robert Ford and totally deserved his Oscar nomination in which was a strong category at the 2008 Oscars. I also think Brad Pitt deserved more credit for his portrayal of Jesse James as he was very good at showing Jesse was slightly crazy before the assassination.

Robert Ford: “I’ve been a nobody all my life. I was the baby; I was the one they made promises to that they never kept. And ever since I can recall it, Jesse James has been as big as a tree. I’m prepared for this, Jim. And I’m going to accomplish it. I know I won’t get but this one opportunity and you can bet your life I’m not going to spoil it.”

After reading some negative reviews about this film, I wasn’t entirely sure about watching it especially with the length. I am pleased that I gave it a chance even if it did take the third attempt of starting to watch it to watch it all. It really was worth it. I really enjoyed the narration through out the film and thought it was a good way to add other parts to the story and explain in more detail what the characters didn’t do or say.

One thought on “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) Review

  1. Nice review, i think this film is really under-appreciated. Casey Affleck is indeed superb, i’ve got it down as one of the best performances i’ve seen in the last few year.


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