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The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford [Blu-ray] [2007] [Region Free]

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Brad Pitt , Mary-Louise Parker , Andrew Dominik    Suitable for 15 years and over   Blu-ray
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
Price: 6.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Mary-Louise Parker, Brooklynn Proulx, Dustin Bollinger, Casey Affleck
  • Directors: Andrew Dominik
  • Producers: Brad Pitt, Jules Daly, Dede Gardner, Ridley Scott, David Valdes
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Mar 2008
  • Run Time: 160 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (208 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0010VXMT4
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,282 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Of all the movies made about or glancingly involving the 19th-century outlaw Jesse Woodson James, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is the most reflective, most ambitious, most intricately fascinating, and indisputably most beautiful. Based on the novel of the same name by Ron Hansen, it picks up James late in his career, a few hours before his final train robbery, then covers the slow catastrophe of the gang's breakup over the next seven months even as the boss himself settles into an approximation of genteel retirement. But in another sense all of the movie is later than that. The very title assumes the audience's familiarity with James as a figure out of history and legend, and our awareness that he was--will be--murdered in his parlor one quiet afternoon by a back-shooting crony.
The film--only the second to be made by New Zealand–born writer-director Andrew Dominik--reminds us that Dominik's debut film, Chopper, was the cunningly off-kilter portrait of another real-life criminal psychopath who became a kind of rock star to his society. The Jesse James of this telling is no Robin Hood robbing the rich to give to the poor, and that train robbery we witness is punctuated by acts of gratuitous brutality, not gallantry. Nineteen-year-old Bob Ford (Casey Affleck) seeks to join the James gang out of hero worship stoked by the dime novels he secretes under his bed, but his glam hero (Brad Pitt) is a monster who takes private glee in infecting his accomplices with his own paranoia, then murdering them for it. In the careful orchestration of James's final moments, there's even a hint that he takes satisfaction in his own demise. Affleck and Pitt (who co-produced with Ridley Scott, among others) are mesmerising in the title roles, but the movie is enriched by an exceptional supporting cast: Sam Shepard as Jesse's older, more stable brother Frank; Sam Rockwell as Bob Ford's own brother Charlie, whose post-assassination descent into madness is astonishing to behold; Paul Schneider, Garret Dillahunt, and Jeremy Renner as three variously doomed gang members; and Mary-Louise Parker, who as Jesse's wife Zee has few lines yet manages with looks and body language to invoke a well nigh-novelistic back-story for herself. There are also electrifying cameos by James Carville, doing solid actorly work as the governor of Missouri; Ted Levine, as a lawman of antic spirit; and Nick Cave, composer of the film's score (with Warren Ellis) and screenwriter of the Aussie western The Proposition, suddenly towering over a late scene to perform the folk song that set the terms for the book and movie's title.
Still, the real co-star is Roger Deakins, probably the finest cinematographer at work today. The landscapes of the movie (mostly in Alberta and Manitoba) will linger in the memory as long as the distinctive faces, and we seem to feel the sting of its snows on our cheeks. Interior scenes are equally persuasive. Few westerns have conveyed so tangibly the bleakness and austerity of the spaces people of the frontier called home, and sought in vain to warm with human spirit. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

Western starring Brad Pitt as the legendary Wild West outlaw Jesse James. To those he robbed and terrorised, he may have been just a criminal, but in the sensational newspaper articles and dime novels chronicling the James Gang throughout the 1870s, Jesse was the object of awe and admiration. Foremost among his admirers was Robert Ford (Casey Affleck), an idealistic and ambitious young man who had devoted his life to the hope of one day riding alongside his idol. When Robert is recruited into James' notorious gang, he eventually grows jealous of the famed outlaw and when he and his brother Charley (Sam Rockwell) sense an opportunity to kill James, their murderous action elevates their target to near mythical status. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Note: On the disc the "making of documentary" is referred to as "Behind the Story – Death of an Outlaw".

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gorgeous hypnotic odyssey 16 July 2008
By russell clarke TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
I felt in two minds about watching this film , half expecting it to be dolorous ,sombre, dull art-house exercise requiring resolute cinematic stamina . Not for the first time I was completely wrong .The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford is as gorgeous and hypnotic a film as I have ever seen .
The title does of course give way what is going to happen in this film but the real drama comes from the way the narrative explores the relationship between the two men and how circumstances dictate what fates befall both of them.
When we meet them both its September 1881 and they are both preparing to rob a train as part of the infamous James gang . Most of the gang we are informed by the films lyrical voice over ( Hugh Ross)are either dead or in prison but the two remaining James brothers Frank (Sam Shepard) and Jesse(Brad Pitt) are leading the heist. Also part of the gang are the Ford brothers Charley (Sam Rockwell) and Robert (Casey Affleck) Robert has a fan worship thing going on with Jesse and this marks the start of their bond , though not before the more worldly wise Frank says of Bob Ford "I don't know what it is about you, but the more you talk, the more you give me the willies."
It's a perspicacious comment as Bob is a bit creepy and is brilliantly portrayed by Affleck as such - ostensibly a sort of cowboy stalker. Jesse finds him amusing at first then comes to trust him before an all round paranoia and brooding malevolence takes over his character . These two borderline psycho's are well matched in many respects but the film adapted by director Andrew Dominick from the book by Robert Hansen takes its time in getting under the skin of these two characters so we understand implicitly how Ford comes to shooting Jesse James .
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected gem 1 Mar 2008
I went into this movie with absolutely no expectations. Almost from the very first scene I was hooked. The reason ... incredible cinematography - truly beautiful - together with an inspired set of acting performances by all involved, especially Casey Affleck but with notable mentions for Sam Rockwell and Brad Pitt. Throw in an incredibly well written script, excellent direction and a moving, gorgeous soundtrack and - for me - you have one of the best films of recent times. It's not a movie that everyone will like, some may find it too ponderous, but personally I thought it was perfect. I don't usually recommend many films, but felt I had to on this occassion.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gob-smackingly brilliant 6 Mar 2008
I was actually able to catch this at the cinema (where it stayed for all of 2 seconds) and could hardly believe what I was seeing: it is unconventional, without a doubt - slow paced, meditative, but what a fantastic piece of drama. A story about almost Shakespearian-level betrayl it moves slowly towards it's inevitable conclusion.

Casey Affleck is incredible as the young starry-eyd aspiring James Gang member, and this is really HIS film about the journey from idol-worship to idol-loathing. The final half an hour of the film, although in theory 'aftermath' is actually what gives us the full rounding of the tale, a kind of jaw-dropping life-meets-art-meets-life-again turn of events.

I was about ready to write off Brad Pitt after his recent spate of so-so performances but here, he's transcendant as the unknowable, mythical figure of James. Although it's Robert Ford's story, James makes the ride worthwhile - his sporadic appearances and wild mood changes push the story forward, and Pitt plays it all like some elemental black-coated mystery guest ("pity my wife...'aint no rest when Jesse's around")

Conventional though it 'aint - very little 'western' style action, it's all about the characters and the story.

In the end, the film leaves a lot of questions unanswered, and that was OK for me because the main tale is told, and you are left to ponder upon things like fame and infamy and the unreliability of history: Ford and James both commit the same crimes(s) - that is made totally clear, but one was held up a hero, the other cast down and mocked.

Special mention to the cinematography and music - the music is beautiful, I have bought the soundtrack already!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film will be regarded as a classic 2 April 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
One of the most interesting things about the west is its mythology and this film demonstrates how the mythology was being created within the participants own lifetimes - hence Robert Ford's eventually 'assassination' as a result of the murder of Jesse James. People who are complaining about the lack of action are missing the point. This is an intelligent and meticulous reconstruction of the events surrounding the murder of Jesse James by Robert Ford. It is about the real people and real events behind the myths, not the usual western clichés. This was never sold as an action film. It is drama. Kudos to Brad Pitt, without his star power this film would probably not exist.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable reworking of the myth. 30 Jan 2008
I can assure JI Robertson that I really do think this is a superb film: because 40 people walked out of the cinema he was in is as irrelevant to proving its weakness as the number of bums on seats at, say the Phantom Menace 'proving' that that was a good film.
It is not an action film; it is slow; it is primarily a character piece and therefore works against expectations of Westerns, but that doesn't mean it's not a great one. It actually addresses a central theme of the genre, one that has been explored in various ways for years, that of the clash between celebrity reputation and reality. Pitt's Jesse is capricious, brutal, unstable, murderous, disturbed. Ford's disappointed idolatry and a desire for some celebrity status of his own through killing him after his 'hero' rebuffs and insults him, is doomed. Ford is vilified by those who prefer the mythology about the outlaw. And there is certainly no pretence that Ford kills James as an expression of justice.
The performances of Pitt and Affleck are superb, particularly the latter's depiction of craven idolisation curdling into resentment, envy and desire for esteem, if not his hero's, then the public's, which, they determinedly refuse to give. The soundtrack is wonderful and the cinematography, by Roger Deakins who also DP'd No Country For Old Men, is broodingly beautiful. This really lingers in the memory. It amazes me that we can see all sorts of mediocrity replicated in hundreds of cinemas, but it's so hard to find this gem. Saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago and desperate to see it again, but where?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars On time - good value
Received on time and good value.
Published 29 days ago by Mr. E. D. Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars An astonishing, well crafted and perfectly acted Movie!
I watched this intelligent version of the story behind the assassination of Jesse James by Robert Ford today and armed with a rudimentary knowledge of James demise watched this... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent just what I wanted. A great price and fast shipping form an excellent seller. Highly recommended A +++++++++++
Published 1 month ago by doberella
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, Slow, Dull, Fast-forwarded, Binned
Dull, dull, dull. Made it to about halfway through before fast-forwarding - even the assassination of Jesse James is dull. Read more
Published 1 month ago by P D Howlett
4.0 out of 5 stars Haunting
While i found this a great movie it's the music that will last long in the memory. Beautiful.
Published 1 month ago by clair b
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great dvd
Published 2 months ago by linda
2.0 out of 5 stars "Assassination" is right!
Blimey, this was slow! Generally, I enjoy slow-burning movies (check out e.g. Jancso's "Round-Up" or Souleymane Cisse''s "Yeelen"). Read more
Published 2 months ago by Ian Stewart
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite Good
I chose this rating because the diction wasn't always clear. The scenery was interesting. I would recommend it to friends
Published 4 months ago by D.W. Griffiths
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow but brilliant
This is a very considered , thought provoking piece of work. Yes it might be a bit slow for some , but it wouldn't work if it wasn't. Read more
Published 4 months ago by kevin sadler
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, beautiful, brilliant and one of the past decade's finest...
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is an absolute masterpiece and a near-flawless film. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Max Caffyn-Parsons
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