Narwhal Party

Outlaws (This Day in History)
04/03/2010, 2:41 pm
Filed under: Books, Movies | Tags: , , ,

This day in 1882, the outlaw/train robber/bank robber/gang leader who became somewhat of a folk hero, Jesse James was killed by a member of his gang, Robert Ford. Of the $10,000 bounty placed on James, Ford (who would later have the words “The man who shot Jesse James” engraved on his tombstone) only collected a fraction. The epitaph of Jesse James, which was chosen by his mother, reads: “In loving memory of my beloved son, murdered by a traitor and coward whose name is not worthy to appear here.”

Here is the opening scene to the film, The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, based on the novel of the same name, by Ron Hansen.

The film features wonderful performances by Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, and Sam Rockwell, as well as a soundtrack by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Well worth a viewing.

Ron Hansen’s novel is highly enjoyable, too. Much like the movie, the book is often slow, taking its time to unfold beautifully. The relationship between the gang members and the old west terrain out in Missouri make for a fantastic historical novel. It’s an engaging story of loyalty, betrayal, and a the strange post-Civil War era of the middle of the country.