Filmed in low-budget Ansco Color, this rather tawdry western once again detailed the life and times of famed outlaw Jesse James. And once again, a certain whitewashing took place. Veteran B-Movie star Willard Parker played the title role, lured back from retirement by Bob Ford (Jim Bannon) for one last heist, a $300,000 mine theft, and bringing with him a couple of old cohorts, Arch Clements (Tom Neal) and Elias Hobbs (Wallace Ford). Produced on the very cheap by Robert L. Lippert, The Great Jesse James Raid proved far from "great" and is today mostly remembered for its ramshackle cast. Off-screen, blond leading lady Barbara Payton and co-star Tom Neal (of Detour fame) earned unwanted notoriety along with former M-G-M star Franchot Tone when Neal and Tone very publicly fought over Miss Payton's dubious but busty charms. Eyes and egos were bruised and everyone ended up in jail and on the front page of the infamous tabloid paper Confidential. Their careers destroyed by the resulting bad press, both Payton and Neal would end their lives in squalor, she as little more than a prostitute, he in prison for the slaying of his second wife.
by Hans J. Wollstein review