Jesse James (1939) is a western film directed by Henry King and starring Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly and Randolph Scott. Written by Nunnally Johnson, the film is loosely based on the life of Jesse James, the notorious outlaw from whom the film derives its name. It is "notorious for its historical inaccuracy." The supporting cast features Henry Hull, John Carradine, Brian Donlevy, Jane Darwell and Lon Chaney, Jr..
The American Humane Association began to oversee filmmaking after a horse died when it was driven off a cliff on set.
Jesse James was a smash hit and the fourth largest-grossing film of 1939, behind Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and in front of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. A sequel, The Return of Frank James, directed by Fritz Lang and with Henry Fonda reprising his role as Frank James along with a variety of other actors playing the same characters as they had in Jesse James, was released in 1940.