The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

  • Directors: Andrew Dominik
  • Producers: Ridley Scott, Jules Daly, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, David Valdes
  • Writers: Screenplay, Andrew Dominik, Novel, Ron Hansen
  • Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama, History, Western
  • Actors: Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck, Mary Louise Parker, Sam Shepard, Sam Rockwell

The film starts off with the narrator introducing many facts and legends about the American Old West outlaw, Jesse James (Brad Pitt). Aside from Jesse, the film also tells the story of Robert Ford (Casey Affleck), a seemingly insecure young man who has grown up idolizing Jesse James and is often seen as a coward by those around him. Bob seeks out his hero in the middle of a forest in Blue Cut, Missouri where the James gang is staging a train robbery. Bob makes petty attempts to join the gang with the help of his brother Charley Ford (Sam Rockwell), who has been a recruit for a while now. Jesse allows Bob to take part in the train robbery to try to prove himself, but Jesse’s brother Frank James (Sam Shepard) disagrees, saying that Bob hasn’t the ingredients to become a member in their gang. The robbery is a success, but ends up being the last robbery committed by the James brothers. Afterward, Frank decides to retire from crime and settle east in Baltimore, leaving his brother to lead the gang by himself. Jesse does not mind Bob’s presence at first, and begins to have Bob tag along wherever he goes. Gradually, Bob forms a complex love/hate relationship with Jesse, still admiring him to the point of obsession, but also becoming resentful and somewhat fearful due to Jesse’s bullying nature. Jesse begins to acknowledge Bob’s awkwardness and unusual fanaticism, and sends him away as a result.

Ten years have passed since Jesse’s assassination. Bob, as unlikely as it may seem, has prospered over the past decade, and now acquires a steady income working as a saloonkeeper in the small mining town of Creede, Colorado, still uncertain on what fate awaits him. He becomes romantically involved with a beautiful woman named Dorothy Evans (Zooey Deschanel), who would have long conversations with Bob in hopes of providing comfort to him. In the closing moments of the film, Bob is sought out and murdered by a man named Edward O’Kelley, who has developed a strong hatred towards Bob over the years. At the same time, the narrator gives an epilogue to end the film, recounting that O’Kelley would later be pardoned, and that in contrast to Jesse James, Robert Ford would achieve no fame after his death.

Red Dragon

  • Directors: Brett Ratner
  • Producers: Dino De Laurentiis
  • Writers: Screenplay, Ted Tally, Novel, Thomas Harris
  • Genres: Drama, Thriller
  • Actors: Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Harvey Keitel, Emily Watson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Mary Louise Parker, Anthony Heald, Frankie Faison

In his Baltimore townhouse, famous local psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter hosts a dinner party. The main subject of conversation over dinner is the disappearance of a local musician who was criticized for playing several wrong notes at a concert that Lecter attended. He then serves what the guests see as a delicious meal.

After dinner, Lecter is visited by Will Graham, a young gifted FBI agent, with whom he has been working on a psychological profile of a local serial killer. Edible body parts of the victims, such as the kidneys and liver were removed from the bodies after being killed, and Graham is convinced that the killer is actually a cannibal. During the consultation and brainstorming session, Graham discovers evidence implicating Dr. Lecter in the murders, shortly before Lecter returns and attacks Graham, wounding and nearly killing him before Graham resists and subdues him.

Lecter is subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment in an institution for the criminally insane while Graham, severely traumatized by the experience, retires from the FBI.

Years later, another serial killer appears. Nicknamed the Tooth Fairy, he stalks and murders seemingly random families during sequential full moons. Hoping to speed things up and capture the killer before his next attack, Special Agent Jack Crawford seeks out Graham and pleads for his assistance. Graham, believing the death of another family to be an unbearable burden on his conscience, reluctantly agrees. After checking over the crime scenes, with only minimal insight, he comes to the realization that most of his previous successes were achieved due to the insightful collaborations of Dr. Lecter, and concludes that he must once again visit Lecter and seek his help in capturing the Tooth Fairy.

It is learned in Hannibal that Lecter chose his victims based on his belief that they were rude in some manner. In the film, it is mentioned that he had attended the concert in which the missing musician had played the wrong notes, ruining the piece. This falls directly into Lecter’s definition of someone being rude. Since Red Dragon was written before Hannibal, this was also not mentioned in the book.