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The Paleface

(1948 c 91')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A cowardly dentist is used by a gun-slinging woman to stop a gang of men who are smuggling weapons to the Indians.

Two masked men break Calamity Jane (Jane Russell) out of jail and take her to Governor Johnson (Charles Trowbridge). He promises her a pardon if she will find out who is smuggling guns to the Indians; he gives her guns. When Jasper Martin (Jack Searl) pulls a gun, she shoots his hand.

Jane finds Jim Hunter has been murdered and to elude dangerous men she goes to the dentist Painless Potter (Bob Hope). A rough man demands his tooth be pulled. Potter gives him laughing gas and pulls the wrong tooth; they both laugh. Three men shoot in the ladies' bath, and Jane shoots them. Potter leaves in his covered wagon, and Jane jumps aboard. She kisses him and knocks him out. Jane tells Potter she will marry him, and they are wed.

They join a wagon train. Jane learns that Terris (Robert Armstrong) has dynamite and makes him think Potter is a federal agent. Potter sings "Buttons and Bows." They take the fork to the Indian country and stop at a blockhouse. An Indian finds the laughing gas and knocks out Potter, who can't see him and thinks he is Jane. In the morning Indians attack with arrows. A dozen Indians are killed, and men say Potter is a hero.

At a saloon Toby Preston (Bobby Watson) tells Pepper (Iris Adrian) to love Potter. Jane tells Potter their marriage is over. Jane finds Hank Billings (Clem Bevans) and shows him the dynamite. Potter gets western clothes. Pepper sings "Meet Ya Round the Corner" to him, and they dance. Jealous Big Joe (Jeff York) comes in and challenges Potter. At sundown Potter gets advice and walks in the street, looking for Big Joe. When they draw, Jane from a window kills Joe. Pepper wants to kiss Potter, but Jane slugs her.

In the hotel she knocks out Potter again. Billings tells her the dynamite is at the undertaker's, and then he dies. Jane sends Potter, and he sneaks in. Potter hides under a sheet as Terris has his men load the dynamite. Potter pulls his gun, but an Indian grabs him. Jane in buckskin is captured too.

Jane tells Potter she did the shooting and says she loves him. Chief Yellow Feather tells Potter that they will honor him. Potter is tied to a tree and launched into a high tree. He talks to himself and goes to rescue Jane. Preston and Martin deliver the weapons to the chief. The Indians tie Jane to a stake, and Potter pretends to be a medicine man. He unties her and leads the Indians away, trailing gunpowder which catches fire when they try to burn him. Jane and Potter escape in his wagon and are chased by Indians. They jump onto the horses, and a smuggler is blown up in the wagon. In the final scene Potter and Jane go on their honeymoon.

This western farce is based on Hope's inimitable humor as a coward, portraying what most people actually feel in dangerous situations that are usually treated in a cavalier manner in movies.

Copyright © 2006 by Sanderson Beck

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