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  • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [DVD] [2007]
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The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford [DVD] [2007]


Price: £2.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Mary-Louise Parker, Sam Rockwell, Brooklynn Proulx
  • Directors: Andrew Dominik
  • Format: PAL, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Audio Description: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD 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 (227 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000Y8G0OS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,762 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

Having idolised Jesse James all through his young life, Robert Ford desperately tries to join the outlaw's gang, only to soon find himself getting resentful towards his hero...

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim Kidner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Feb. 2012
Format: DVD
I'd always resisted this film, due to its title, namely the 'coward' part. More a case of a slanderous slur, rather than a criminal charge.

After succumbing, I was swallowed in and was swept through this almost poetic tale of psychological slow-burning. The so-natural dialogue, the paced narrative that was near hypnotic. The colouring - the sparse, sympathetic music. The brilliant cinematography. The narration that was perfection; intelligent and lurid - counteracting the often bitty, scatological dialogue.

On this, my second viewing, I was glad that I used the subtitles on the DVD. Casey Afleck's mumbled drawl is certainly in keeping with his character traits but not for following the dialogue. In any case, here in the U.K, we hear of subtitles sometimes being added in the U.S as a matter of course to tell the world what our regional actors are saying.

The acting is, of course, absolutely first-rate and Brad Pitt, Sam Shepard (who I could watch forever) and all are totally mesmerising and believable.

Yes, it is too long, only that I get restless, not disinterested.

What to me is the icing on the cake was the prologue. The counteraction, the irony, the outcome. Which in some way goes somewhere toward addressing my initial concerns.
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By russell clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 16 July 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 By Chrislovesbuffy on 1 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 By m VINE VOICE on 6 Mar. 2008
Format: DVD
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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