I Shot Jesse James

Director: Samuel Fuller
Screenwriters: Homer Croy, Samuel Fuller

Institute History

  • 1988 Sundance Film Festival


His first film, I Shot Jesse James, was constructed almost entirely in close-ups of an oppressive intensity the cinema had not experienced since Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc. Fuller’s script was so compressed that there was no room for even one establishing shot, atmosphere shot, or one dramatically irrelevant scene in which the characters could suggest an everyday existence. the excitement Fuller arouses in critics sensitive to visual forms is equaled by the horror he arouses in critics of the left for the lack of social perspective in his films. It is the artistic force with which his ideas are expressed that makes his career so fascinating to critics who can rise over their political prejudices . . . Fuller belongs to the cinema, and not to literature and sociology.

— Andrew Sarris, 1968

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]