Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James (1986)

Director: William A. Graham

Writer: William Stratton

Composer: Paul Chihara

Starring: Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Marcia Cross, Gail Youngs, David Allan Coe, Andy Stahl, June Carter Cash, Ed Bruce, Darrell Wilks, Meg Gibson, Willie Nelson

More info: IMDb

Tagline: The true story of the legendary American outlaws

Plot: The true story of the legendary American outlaws. From 1866 to 1882, Missouri's Frank and Jesse James led a gang that robbed banks, held up trains and became the most famous outlaws in American history. After 15 years of thievery, the legendary outlaws are trying to settle down. This is the last years of the brothers' lives, revealing Frank (Johnny Cash) as a book-loving and family-oriented man and brother Jesse (Kris Kristofferson) as a money-hungry womanizer.

My rating: 4/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I don't know how historically accurate this is so I'm only judging this as a film...and it's bad.  I wasn't 20 minutes in before I was ready to get out but I stuck with it.  The acting is amateurish.  I LOVE Johnny Cash as a singer/songwriter but his acting is pretty bad.  This is the worst I've ever seen Kristofferson.  And near the end when Willie Nelson shows up as General Shelby, watch out for one stinker of a performance. Not only are the leads under par, so are a lot of the supporting cast, although there are some bright spots.

What's more, the picture looks less like a made-for-TV movie but a lower budget, straight-to-video film.  It was only the final few minutes that I actually enjoyed. It's really the acting that killed it.  It's just terrible regardless of how much I like the leads.  The last half of the picture had me constantly thinking that I really need to get around to seeing THE ASSASSINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD (2007).

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