Calamity Jane is broken out of jail by a group of masked men who turn out to be working for the governer, who propositions Jane to investigate arms smuggling to tribes in the state. The persuasive power of the governor's pardon is too much, and she embarks takes off to Indian territory. Along the way, she runs into "Painless" Potter, a bumbling dentist. As the heat is already on, she decides to tag along with him as his wife for a reasonable cover story.
Jane Russell and Bob Hope star in this attempt a comedy. The main reason I bothered watching was because The Paleface was reputed as one of Hope's best movies, and I hadn't seen any that I could recall.
I was disappointed. What we have is a joke oriented flick worthy of a former member of Saturday Night Live. Thankfully, they hadn't invented the gross-out comedy in 1948 or it could have been much worse.
The plot is actually razor thin, existing only as a foil for putting together these two characters in dangerous situations. The bad guys are never explained, never given any motivation whatsoever! The characterization fares better, but we never really are surprised by them. The movie stakes its entire success on the jokes. Maybe they're good ones, but half of them hang in the air like rotting non-sequitors. What we have here is a simple skit which has been puffed up to feature length with no added depth. Have I mentioned former Saturday Night Live stars going into movies? Oh yeah, so you know what I mean...
There's a few odd little "special effects" in the movie, mainly placed as little jokes with no real depth. It's just interesting to see what was available at the time and how it was used. The film basics are all pretty much there, but they have nothing to illuminate, no secrets to let us in on.
I don't know who really is going to get into this movie. It's lighter than a feather, and doesn't really require you to be present for any part of it. You might get a better movie if you reversed the order of scenes, like in Memento. I haven't seen it, but I find it hard to believe they made a Son of Palfeface...
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