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The Legend of
Jesse James


ABC Network
1965 - 1966
30 Minutes

Christopher Jones starred in this sugar-sweet retelling of the story of the outlaw Jesse James (1847-1882) which depicted him more as a Robin Hood than a vicious killer.

Others hanging out with Jesse included:

  • Allen Case as Frank James, Jesse's older brother
  • John Millard as Cole Younger
  • Tim McIntire as Bob Younger
  • Ann Doran as Mrs. James, Jesse and Frank's mother

Unlike most outlaws who stole for the sake of self-profit, Jesse redistributed his stolen loot to those who had been victimized by the local railroad barons and other crooked businessman. The James Brothers even helped a widow pay off a bank loan.

When Jesse wasn't handing out money, he came to the aide of others in need, like the time the James brothers stopped a bunch of rowdy cowboys from harassing the folks in a frontier town.

Despite his good intentions, the law was the law and Jesse and his followers were constantly sought by Marshal Sam Corbett (Robert Wilke) for his crimes. Once Jesse and Frank James joined forces with  Marshal Sam Corbett to stop an ex-guerilla leader from blowing up a town.

The James brothers group became such a bother that the US army offered Jesse and his gang an amnesty if they'd stop robbing the railroad.

Jesse and Frank James - LEGEND OF JESSE JAMES
Jesse and Frank James

Listen to Theme Song

Theme Song Lyrics

Jesse James, Jesse James.

He was cursed with a quick and restless gun. Jesse James!
And he played the game that no man ever won. Jesse James!
But his killin' turned him cold, he grew bitter, he grew bold
And he fought the world with a gold and hungry gun.

Gold and hungry gun,
Gold and hungry gun,
Blasting flame, a lasting shame,
On the man with a hungry gun.

Jesse James, Jesse James.


TRIVIA NOTE: On April 3, 1882, Jesse James was shot in the back by Robert Ford, an alleged friend and former gang member who sought the reward for killing the outlaw. Consequently, Ford was tried and convicted for murder, but pardoned by the Governor.

On the episode 'The Cave" (02/07/1966) the series depicts Jesse as being afraid water as he tries to escape a posse by swimming through an underground stream.

The Missouri backdrop for the series was filmed at the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth in Los Angeles County, California

The Jesse James character (Christopher Pettiet) rode for the Pony Express on the western THE YOUNG RIDERS/ABC/1989-92.

Obituaries: Allan Case: 08/25/1986;  Richard H. Cutting: 03/07/1972; John Milford: 08/14/2000; Ann Doran: 09/19/2000; Robert J. Wilke: 03/28/1989;

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