|Son of Paleface (1952)|
|Writers:||Frank Tashlin, Joseph Quillan and Robert L. Welch|
|Starring:||Bob Hope, Roy Rogers and Jane Russell|
|The Plot: Bob Hope plays Peter “Paleface” Potter, Jr., a Harvard man who has left school to head back home out west during the turn of the 20th century. His father has recently passed away and has left what appears to be a very large inheritance for Junior, but appearances can be deceiving. The senior Potter, before he died, had collected a rather large number of debts throughout the local community and when Potter goes to collect his inheritance at the bank… he finds nothing but an empty box! Knowing that he’ll be ripped apart if he confesses that there is no inheritance, Junior simply pretends that the inheritance was even more vast than anyone could have imagined. While Junior is forced to put up this charade, a local bandit has an eye on Potter’s money. Mike “The Torch” Delroy (played by the beautiful Jane Russell) is the leader of a rough and tough band of outlaws, but being a lovely young woman she figures she can better take advantage of Potter by using her feminine ways instead of simply pointing a gun. While she heads into town to trick Junior into falling in love, she finds that special agent Roy Barton (Roy Rogers) has been placed on her tail and knows precisely what she and her gang are up to!|
Also along for the ride is the beautiful Jane Russell who is an actress that I am ashamedly unfamiliar with outside of her name and popularity. Russell is about as seductive as any one woman can get, but also shows a great deal of strength, as we watch her character constantly out-think both Hope and Rogers as the story progresses onward. Her character is the tough cowgirl who is as quick to rob you as she is to shake your hand and her character actually manages to come across as a very empowered woman. This is something rather unexpected, as the movie does sort of deliver on many of the pre-conceived notions that we have about 1950’s Hollywood. The way that Native Americans are portrayed is of course potentially-offensive, but I find that it is always best to watch older films such as this with your judgement-meter turned down ever so slightly because there’s no telling what you or others might think about modern films in fifty years or so. With that said, one reliable aspect about comedy from this era is that it captured that perfect level of absurdity that could really make slapstick like this so much fun. Similar to the work of The Three Stooges or The Marx Brothers from earlier, Son of Paleface features some really cartoonish and over the top comedic bits throughout its run-time.