Film 190 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1948’s “The Paleface”. This Norman Z. McLeod western comedy is about a dentist being married to Calamity Jane who is on the hunt to find out who is selling dynamite to The Indians. This is my first look at Bob Hope and I rather liked his style of comedy. I found myself laughing throughout the film. Mostly because of Bob’s acting or his one-liners. I wasn’t quite sure why Peter needed the dentist gimmick apart from his nickname being “Painless”. I guess the joke is that going to the dentist is always painful… or painless… I’m not sure. Also, I would have liked to have seen the laughing machine Peter uses to come to use in a bigger role. In the film, an Indian discovers the machine and starts laughing. I would have liked to see him return at the end of the film with the machine and show it off to the rest of the tribe. Everyone starts laughing and Peter and Jane escape and put an end to the bad guy’s plan to sell The Indians dynamite and rifles. Apart from those little nip-picks, this is a fun film to watch and one I would recommend. This film had a sequel, 1952’s “Son of Paleface”. Is it any good? Should I watch it? This film would be remade in 1968 starring Don Knotts called “The Shakiest Gun in the West”. Is this film good? And should I watch that as well? If you have seen this film, or the sequel, or the Don Knotts remake, then let me know what you thought of them in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1948’s “The Paleface”
Film – The Paleface
Year – 1948
Director – Norman Z. McLeod
Written By – Jack Rose, Melville Shavelson
Staring – Bob Hope, Jane Russell, Robert Armstrong
IMDb Rating – 7/10
My Rating – 7.3/10
Length – 90 min (1h 30min)
Genre – Comedy, Western
We open with two men riding horses in the rain who are about to rob a sheriff
The two men have let Calamity Jane escape and have taken her to the goverment
Someone’s been selling guns to The Indians
You sort this out and we’ll let you out of jail on a pardon
Meanwhile men drink at a bar
Jane is sent to Jim Hunter for more info about her mission
Looks like that ain’t happening as Jim is dead
Better burn the evidence. Hope I don’t forget what was written down
Don’t you ever get the feeling you’re being followed in public?
Better hide in “Painless” Peter’s dentist
This doesn’t look like a safe dentist
A trainee?! Bugger!
Never tell a dentist what to do
Pretty sure if the dentist’s tools are smoking your teeth are really bad
I’ve never had a dentist massage my head when knocking me out with gas
“I pulled the wrong tooth” – Something you never want to hear
If this is a dentist then why are all the women wearing only underwear?
If someone is dying, give them whiskey
I’m taking the laughing machine with me and I’m heading back East
Jane somehow jumped onto Peter’s wagon and is now in charge
KISS ME and I’ll knock you out and steal your wagon
Shit! Just remembered I need a husband! Better bring Peter along with me
Peter wakes up and Jane proposes to him
You can’t have a wedding without a ring
Also, I didn’t know you could get engaged then married within an hour
Peter just kissed the priest! Does that mean he and the priest are married?!?
You deal with the horses, I’m off for a walk
Peter decides to do dentist work on the horses
What dresses are made of whale bone?
Two men think Peter did the shooting at the dentist
The only way home is through “Indian Country”
Rule 101 – Always tie your horses to your wagon before riding off
Peter decides to kill time by singing and playing an accordian
The song in question… “Buttons and Bows”
His singing made Jane fall asleep
And Peter’s wagon has taken a different path and is taking everyone else with him
“Then night fell”
One candle can cause that much light?
Meanwhile, an Indian decides to have a look inside Peter’s wagon
He decides to play with the laughing machine and thinks it’s a phone
Jane decides she’s gonna sleep in the wagon and the Indian is gonna sleep with Peter in the cabin
I don’t need water!
And the Indian has knocked out Peter while trying not to laugh
“Then dawn broke”
More Indians arrive and Jane returns
“Think I married a mental case”
No one will see me if I hide behind this moving bush
“Must be a Virginia creeper”
These arrows aren’t from Cupid!
“They want to make a pin cushion out of me”
“There’s a million Indians taking on one coward”
Jane and Peter shoot at the invading Indians
At this point if I’m Indian I would retreat
He took a while to die
Peter managed to kill an Indian in a tree without looking at him
Peter is considered a hero
To Buffalo Flats
You would think Peter would have learnt to tie his horses to his wagon…. You’re wrong
At Buffalo Flats
How dare you interupt my painting
He just shot someone for dancing with his girl
Who cares that he’s dead… Peter is here!
The government plan to have Peter arrested
Jane tells Peter that the town will build a statue of him in the future
She then tells Peter that their marriage is over because of his popularity
“There’s a lot of other fish in the sea and I’m off to catch some bait”
Jane visits a blacksmiths to talk about Jim Hunter
What’s with everyone in westerns being quick to draw guns on each other?
She gives Blacksmith some dynamite and plans to attack the men who want it
Peter and a cowboy have swapped clothes
Peter looks like a rip-off Woody from Toy Story
Can I have a pint of foam?
Question to all women – Don’t you hate it when another woman tries to steal the man you love?
Peter is clearly not interested in this singer because she’s stopping him from lighting a cigarette
Joel returns and tries to kill Peter for dancing with his woman
Peter tells Joel to leave before sundown
Half a glass of “Red Eye” and Peter is drunk
It’s sundown and Joel didn’t leave
Have a piece of my tights for good luck
All this info is confusing for someone heading into a showdown
(INSERT THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY THEME)
Jane seems happy that Peter is in a showdown since they ain’t married
Pretty clear that Peter can’t shoot
The two decide to play hide and seek at a cigar shop
The two eventually see each other and Joel is dead
Jane shot Joel!
Yellowfeather wants the dynamite
Congrats Undertaker… You’ve got a job
Fuck off bitch, he’s my man
Think Peter took this cowboy role a bit seriously
Did he really put up a “BEWARE MAD DOG” sign up?
KISS ME and I’ll knock you out
Blacksmith arrives and is killed by an Indian
Looks like the man who wants the dynamite is at the Undertakers
Did she say they’ve been together for 20 years? – Pretty sure they’ve been together for 24 hours
Ignore the dead man on the floor and go to the Undertakers
I’m just waiting for WWE’s Undertaker circa 1991 and Paul Bearer to appear
Better pretend I’m dead
The bad guys are putting all the dynamite in Peter’s wagon
Damn cat! Nearly gave me up!
Peter has been kidnapped by an Indian and the bad guys
Meanwhile Jane has remembered she’s “Calamity” and is caught by the bad guys as well
At an Indian camp
Jane explains that she shot everyone and Peter took the fall
Jane says she actually loves him and Peter doesn’t believe her
KISS ME and I won’t knock you out
The Chief Indian arrives and Jane tells the truth
They don’t believe her
Jane explains to Peter what they tried to say
She says they are gonna torture him by ripping him in half with two trees
I am defeated by powder!
Up goes Peter and he somehow survived
Peter is stuck on top of the tallest tree
I love the subtitled “Help!” that appeared on screen
Peter somehow gets down and talks to himself about rescuing Jane
Peter and an Indian get into a chat
The Indian runs away and is killed with a rock to the head thrown at him
The bad guys arrive with the dynamite
The Indians are gonna burn Jane alive
Peter is now dressed as an Indian and fools everyone with his dancing
The Chief Indian says Peter will be burned as well
Peter’s new plan is to lure all The Indians away so Jane can escape
He takes a bottle of gun powder and makes a trail around the camp
The powder is lit and all the dynamite explodes
How did Peter end up between the horses?
Jane tells Peter to shoot everyone
Did that Indian no sell getting shot?
Peter decides to use the dynamite but he can’t throw and it’s in the wagon
Oen Indian managed to get on board
The horses and the wagin are separated
The wagon is somehow in front of Jane and the horses
And boom goes the dynamite
Peter and Jane are officially married and are off on their honeymoon
And now Jane is sent flying as the horses aren’t tied to the wagon
“What do you want a happy ending?”