The film looks good in Technicolor but also becomes increasingly sluggish as it goes on.
Nunnally Johnson's screenplay ignores the truth and presents us with the legend. Jesse James (Tyrone Power) and Frank James (Henry Fonda) are just simple country folks. The railroad crooked agents have come round to buy up land on the cheap by using force.
Jesse and Frank become outlaws by robbing trains and banks only because the greedy railroad bosses were responsible for the death of their mother.
Jesse tries to settle down to a life of domestic bliss but his old friends keep calling to try to get him back to do a quick and easy job, only to be shot in the back by a cowardly Bob Ford.