Classic Movie 2019

Classic Movie Of The Week: Paleface (1948)

Starring: Jane Russell, Bob Hope, Robert Armstrong

Director: Norman Z McLeod

In exchange for a pardon, Calamity Jane (Russell) agrees to find out who is selling arms to the Indians and stop them. But Jane has enemies, and while travelling undercover her partner is killed. She recruits Painless Peter Potter (Hope) a dentist and total coward to be her new undercover husband and ends up making him a target for the bad guys when she gives him the credit for her own sharp shooting when a wagon train is attacked.

Jane Russell is wonderful in this film. She’s all curves and no brakes, whether in lace and corsets or buckskin and fringing. Her face always has this tough girl sneer and I really felt like she could shoot anyone who annoyed her without batting a mascara clad eyelid. There’s something a bit Lara Croft about her.

She and Bob Hope make a great team. They’re so at odds. He’s a massive coward and is really funny, throwing out one liners and puns faster than a quick draw shoot out. Unlike a lot of comics, he’s not such a putz that you would find it hard that they would wind up falling for each other. Though she certainly knows how to have the upper hand! Clearly I’m not the only one who liked the team up, they also appear together again in a sequel to this film.

Famous also for it’s Oscar winning song Buttons and Bows, the film has become a classic. It’s a running joke that while Peter tries to get close to his new wife, she always manages to keep her new husband and dupe at bay, but we know they’re perfect for each other and the romance is inevitable…. as well as the high jinks.

See It If: this is a really fun comedy with two great leads. I love how tough and smart Jane Russel is as Calamity Jane, and Hope brings just the right level of fun and laughs to the whole thing. Good fun.

2 thoughts on “Classic Movie Of The Week: Paleface (1948)”

  1. Russell is so NOT like Calamity Jane but this is such a fun movie. I think this is the one with Hope doing that hysterical gun duel where he babbles and bumbles his way down the street. It has to be one of the funniest scenes ever filmed.

    Liked by 1 person

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