An analysis of a 1939 film called jesse james

Production[ edit ] This working engine and train at Fort Edmonton Park was featured in the film.

An analysis of a 1939 film called jesse james

In the wake of the Great Depression, when the nation seemed divided along economic lines, Jesse James — together with its legendary popular hero, a bandit battling against the banks and railroads — explores the consequences that an earlier national crisis, the Civil War, had inflicted on rural America.

The analysis of this interplay is one of the main contributions of this article. He started robbing banks, then trains, mostly for profit. In Inside War, historian Michael Fellman asserts that such a glorification initially served a strictly sectional political agenda: James was the most famous American noble outlaw, and by extension, what justified him served in addition as ex post facto justification for all the guerillas.

The popular creation of the noble guerilla overlapped the creation of the legendary Jesse James. In particular, the action that came to crystallize his popular resistance to tyranny was his fight against the railroad, an industry developed both during the Reconstruction era and the Gilded Age that was dominated by Northern capital and marred by corruption and speculation at the expense of small landowners.

Consequently, while transcontinental trains were celebrated in the eastern and western press, and later in western films, they were rejected culturally, and sometimes physically, first in the rural South, then by a growing number of populist movements throughout the country.

Just as in the Gilded Age, the development of financial capitalism and technological innovation, perceived as progress in the s, turned into an oppressive machine after the Wall Street Crash.

As Walter Coppedge writes: Inas the country was recovering from a Depression perceived by many to have been created by ruthless individualism and the greed of large corporations, those forces were once again suspect.

But they were too close in time and therefore, though potentially profitable, politically dangerous for studios struggling with the restrictions of the Motion Picture Production Code.

During that period, as Peter Stanfield claims in the conclusion to his analysis of s westerns, politics was never disconnected from entertainment: Neither was the fact that it focused on the railroad as the embodiment of these undemocratic forces: DeMille, ] — that offers the primary threat.

Its bleak depiction of the railroad as a tyrannical organization went much further than any other contemporary film: Filmed almost entirely on location in Pineville, Missouri, and the surrounding Ozark mountains, it was shot with meticulous attention to historical details, and careful recreation of costumes, settings and props of the period.

The Victorian-era locomotive was found on an Arkansas railroad siding and completely restored along with the cars in Meinhardt, Missouri, for the St. Louis railway station and train robbery sequences.

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Right from the opening titles, the train is viewed as a threat to the pastoral stability of small farming communities. The title cards read: The symbol of this era was the trans-continental railroads. Whole communities found themselves victimized by an ever-growing ogre — the Iron Horse.

The narrative frame set by the opening titles is threefold. The unprogressive railroad 9 This new direction is stated in the second title card see figure 1. With forceful metaphors, it sheds a bleaker light on the alleged instrument of national progress.

In other words, the advance of the railroad does not result in the eventual victory of peace and order but is the agent of their destruction. Louis Midland railroad so the company can start laying tracks across their properties. Barshee Brian Donlevythe leading railroad agent, swindles two families out of their lands, by trickery and physical force, in a manner that echoes the injustices of the Great Depression.

Indeed, the quasi-documentary treatment of the families, and namely that of the two barefooted children clinging to the plain dress of their mother holding a baby figure 2recalls the poignant, today nearly iconic photographs of the rural poor taken by Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans for the Farm Security Administration FSA [21] that started circulating in American magazines and newspapers in the latter part of the s.

Iconography of the Great Depression, the common man against big business 11 Barshee is initially the most powerful embodiment of the evil of the railroad.

An analysis of a 1939 film called jesse james

The film manages to broaden its political criticism to an entire system by making villainous characters the instruments of a corporate will. The railroad is a force which destroys community, dispossesses owners of their rights, and threatens the bonds of family.

Before the opening sequences of the film, a scene was planned in which Barshee was to say to his associates: As for the other important evil figure, the cowardly and treacherous president of the railroad company, Mr.

The Films of Fritz Lang - by Michael E. Grost

McCoy Donald Meekhis will as president is that of the company.Both during and after his presidential terms and continuing today, there has been much criticism of Franklin D. tranceformingnlp.coms have questioned not only his policies and positions, but also charged him with centralizing power in his own hands by controlling both the government and the Democratic denounced his breaking the no-third-term tradition in Jesse James () Twentieth Century Mrs.

Samuel in real life, is called Mrs. Samuels in the film. Their stepfather is not seen, even though he was alive and well. Their sister, two stepsisters and two stepbrothers are also missing. The Northfield raid wasn't an ambush. The brothers never rode through plate-glass windows.

Jesse was not on. Jesse James () is a western film directed by Henry King and starring Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly and Randolph Scott. Written by Nunnally Johnson, the film is loosely based on the life of Jesse James, the notorious outlaw from whom the film derives its name.

It is "notorious for its. Jesse James is a American western film directed by Henry King and starring Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly and Randolph Scott.

Written by Nunnally Johnson, the film is loosely based on the life of Jesse James, the notorious outlaw from whom the film derives its name.

An analysis of a 1939 film called jesse james

It is "notorious for its historical inaccuracy.". International Association for the Study of Dreams is a non-profit (C)(3) research and education organization.

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