The Return of Frank James

Encore triumph from 20th Century-Fox.

Action Drama Western
92 min     6.385     1940     USA


Farmer Frank and his ward hunt brother Jesse's killers, the back-shooting Fords.


CinemaSerf wrote:
Henry Hull's "Maj. Cobb" steals this rather unremarkable follow up to the previous year's much superior "Jesse James". This time, surviving brother Frank hears that assassins Bob and Charlie Ford have been convicted of his brother's murder - but that they have been pardoned. He sets off to avenge this travesty but along the way finds himself and the young "Clem" (Jackie Cooper) involved in a bank robbery that sees his old retainer "Pinky" (Ernest Whitman) set to swing after the watchman is accidentally killed. Determined to avert that he engages "Cobb" as his lawyer and turns himself in. The twenty minutes or so in the courtroom are a bit of an amusing tour-de-force for the old newspaper man; he plays the jury like a fiddle and the judge (George Barbier) seems pretty complicit as railroad man "McCoy" (Donald Meek) finds he has few friends in them thar parts. The ending is a bit weak, indeed the whole thing is rather an unnecessary sequel, but it's still worth it for the entertaining antics of "Maj. Cobb".