November 20, 2020

Whatever Happened to That 4-hour 'Jesse James' Cut That Roger Deakins Loved?

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was almost as long as its title.

Nothing has made me happier than the resurgence of love for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. When I was a young movie theater worker, I lamented spelling that out on the marquee every night, but I’ll never forget sitting in The State Theatre and watching the Andrew Dominik masterpiece.

The movie is wonderful to look at thanks to Roger Deakins’ cinematography, which makes every frame look like an oil painting. Well, now on the Team Deakins podcast, the DP talked about how there was a much longer cut that never saw the light of day.

In the episode, he talks about the original four-hour cut of Jesse James that got trimmed to the 160-minute theatrical cut because of studio notes. For Deakins, the 240-minute Jesse James was far superior but definitely less commercial for Warner Bros.

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Source: NoFilmSchool