Within its own modest limits, The Great Jesse James Raid is a well-crafted western. Willard Parker plays Jesse James, who when the film opens is seen comfortably settled into respectable retirement. At the instigation of the unscrupulous Bob Ford (Jim Bannon), Jesse leaves hearth and home behind to commit one last robbery. Somewhere in the deep recesses of a mine is $300,000 in hidden loot, and Jesse aims to get his mitts on it. Featured in the cast of The Great Jesse James Raid are Barbara Payton and Tom Neal, whose turbulent real-life romance resulted in a great deal of negative publicity. The film is stolen by Wallace Ford as a Scripture-quoting dynamiter; perhaps it is true, as one historian observed, that Ford was in more movies than anyone else in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.