The exploits of Frank and Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang have been a celebrated story in American history since they first began, and continue to be so to this day. Robert Boris’s 1995 film, Frank and Jesse is neither the first nor the last film concerning the outlaws; not by a long shot in either direction. In fact, it seems that there is usually at least one a decade, sometimes three or four. So any film attempting to depict the James brothers needs to find some way to distinguish itself.
Frank and Jesse takes some liberties with the history for the sake of telling a good story. It starts with the Jameses being rounded up along with other Confederate soldiers and being forced to take an oath of loyalty to the Union, swearing never again to take up arms against the United States. It doesn’t stick. Continue reading →
I’ve been hearing the major theme to this movie (John Parr’s “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)”) regularly since the film first came out in 1985. It gets occasional radio play, and it’s catchy enough that I enjoy listening to it. But somehow St. Elmo’s Fire itself had managed to remain on my unseen movies list until now. Unlike some other “Brat Pack” films, that might actually be a good thing, since this isn’t a “high school” movie. Instead, St. Elmo’s Fire focuses on a septet of college graduates, as they learn the hard way that entering the real world does not automatically confer adult wisdom. It’s the sort of movie that ages well as the viewer gains more perspective on that time of life.
This is helped, of course, by having an ensemble cast of great actors, under the direction of Joel Schumacher. Continue reading →