An Extended Cut of 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' Exists and Roger Deakins Wants It Released
Fans of our YouTube channel KNOW that we love 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.' We have two videos dedicated to the film, which we’ll link below. Therefore it should come as no surprise that we got all hot and tingly when word came out that an extended cut of 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' not only exists, but Roger Deakins wants it released.
For years now fans of the flick have been clamoring for the movie to be added to the Criterion Collection. Whether that actually happens at some point or not, your guess is as good as ours. However, when Collider caught up with cinematographer Roger Deakins at the Toronto International Film Festival, he had this to say:
“It should be [on Criterion]. I would really like to see the long version, the first cut that I saw, released on Criterion. That’s what I’d hope for … It was over three hours. I don’t think it ever will, because last time I talked to Andrew about it he was quite happy with the version that got released. But I still remember that first early cut that I saw that was like three and a quarter I think, and it was pretty stunning. There was a four-hour version. The first cut was like four hours, I seem to remember.”
The common cut of the movie is long by today’s standards—two hours and forty minutes— so that means there’s about 35 minutes of additional footage that hasn’t been publicly seen. The film has steadily grown in stature over the years (despite grossing a paltry $4 million at the box office), so releasing an extended cut would likely make sense financially, though given director Andrew Dominik’s satisfaction with the released version, he may not be on board with the idea artistically.
Regardless, Deakins went on to laud Domink’s released version of the film, stating:
“I think what he got was the book. If you ever read Hansen’s book, it has that sort of mythical, poetic feeling about it. The kind of Peckinpah feeling of something passing. The world changing and these characters kind of being left behind by the world, which I’m feeling myself right now (laughs).”