The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

Synopsis: Taking place in the American Northwest in the early 1880s, the film dramatizes the last seven months in the life of famed outlaw Jesse James, beginning with the Blue Cut train robbery of 1881 and culminating in his assassination at the hands of Robert Ford the following April. In the time between these two fateful events, the young and jealous Ford befriends the increasingly mistrustful outlaw, even as he plots his demise.
Director(s): Andrew Dominik
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 65 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
160 min

He was growing into middle age...

...and was living then in a bungalow

on Woodland Avenue.

He installed himself

in a rocking chair...

...and smoked a cigar down

in the evenings... his wife wiped her pink hands

on an apron...

...and reported happily

on their two children.

His children knew his legs...

...the sting of his mustache

against their cheeks.

They didn't know how their father made

his living or why they so often moved.

They didn't even know

their father's name.

He was listed in the city directory

as Thomas Howard.

And he went

everywhere unrecognized...

...and lunched with Kansas City

shopkeepers and merchants...

...calling himself a cattleman

or a commodities investor...

...someone rich and leisured

who had the common touch.

He had two incompletely healed

bullet holes in his chest...

...and another in his thigh.

He was missing the nub

of his left middle finger...

...and was cautious,

lest that mutilation be seen.

He also had a condition that was

referred to as "granulated eyelids"...

...and it caused him

to blink more than usual... if he found creation

slightly more than he could accept.

Rooms seemed hotter

when he was in them.

Rains fell straighter.

Clocks slowed.

Sounds were amplified.

He considered himself

a Southern loyalist and guerrilla... a Civil War that never ended.

He regretted neither his robberies,

nor the 17 murders that he laid claim to.

He had seen another summer under

in Kansas City, Missouri...

...and on September 5th

in the year 1881...

...he was 34 years old.

You just... You just slide them things

right in there, right in your sleeve...

...and then, when you get ready,

you just shake it out.

Like that, right there. You shake it out.

Mary Todd Lincoln, tyrant's wife, fall

into hysterics when the moon was full.

President's men would tie her up

with hay-baling wire...

...keep her from ripping

her husband's ears off.

You never heard word one about the wife of

the Confederacy's Jefferson Davis, did you?

- I didn't.

- No, you didn't.

He did his duty by her.

- Oh, my God, I'm speaking to children.

- No, I get it, I get it, I get it.

The president of the Confederacy discerned

his wife's needs and satisfied them...

...with the utmost skill

and the utmost courtesy.

- Charley, you spit all over my boot.

- Sorry. Sorry, sorry, Jesse.

- Here, get it off.

- I'll wipe it... I'll wipe it off.

But Abraham Lincoln probably

sent his wife on a shopping expedition.

- A three-act play.

- With money stole from us.


I think insanity run on both sides

of that Lincoln family.

You're right about that.

The river... You jump in the river.

- Chow!

- Don't be shy now, Dick.

- One more piece of meat.

- When you diddle a lot...

There's a good piece of bacon fat

in there for him.

Excuse me.

I see I've traipsed right on in

and interrupted you.

Who are you, then?

Bob Ford.

Charley's brother?


I was lying when I said

I just happened down here.

I've been looking for you. I feel lousy

I didn't say so at the outset.

Folks take me for a nincompoop...

...on account of the shabby first impression

I make, whereas I think of myself... being just a rung down

from the James brothers.

I was hoping if I ran into you

aside from those peckerwoods...

...I could show you how special I am.

I honestly believe I'm destined

for great things, Mr. James.

I got qualities that don't come shining

through right at the outset.

You give me a chance, I'll get

the job done. I guarantee you that.

Hey, Dick, is it true you diddled a squaw?

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)

Andrew Dominik

Andrew Dominik (born 7 October 1967) is a New Zealand-born Australian film director and screenwriter. He has directed the crime film Chopper, the Western drama film The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and the neo-noir crime film Killing Them Softly. more…

All Andrew Dominik scripts | Andrew Dominik Scripts

(0 fans)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 29 Sep. 2022. <>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!


    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.