I Shot Jesse James is a character study of the man who felled the west’s most famous outlaw with a coward’s bullet. It’s an interesting treatment that doesn’t overlook necessary plot and action.
While Preston Foster and Barbara Britton carry star roles, it’s John Ireland, as the notorious Bob Ford, who dominates the story.
Spiced in the plot footage are any number of forthright physical clashes, capably staged by Samuel Fuller’s direction. Latter is not quite as adept in handling the character study motivation but the players carry off these angles with considerable ability.
Ireland’s performance is clearly drawn and even manages a trace of sympathy. Britton fits well into the role of his beloved, who turns to Foster in the end. Foster is good as the prospector who turns marshal.