The Paleface on DVD

Monday, 27 April 2015 08:14 Written by 

The Paleface - out now on DVDIn this comedy Western, Calamity Jane (Jane Russell - "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes") is broken out of jail and offered a pardon in return for her help in foiling the plans of a bunch of gun runners. Their illicit activity threatens to ignite a war between the native Indians and white settlers. An traitor soon threatens Jane's mission and she is forced to adapt her plans, marrying and dragging along 'Painless' Peter Potter, a bemused dentist (Bob Hope - "Road to Rio").

Together, the couple face danger at every turn, with Peter mistakenly gaining celebrity status for Jane's sharp-shooting exploits. Thinking himself a hero, the dentist wades into deadly confrontations with both the criminal gang smuggling weapons and the Indians into whose territory they unwittingly stray. Much perilous, slapstick action ensues, with Peter trying to understand Jane's constant mood swings and strange behaviour.

Made in 1948, "The Paleface" is a bright and breezy affair with the air of a pantomime, thanks partly to the number of scenes obviously shot on stages. The two leads perform their roles with aplomb but I did not sense much chemistry between them. Russell scowls and muscles her way through the film, whilst Hope gurns and engages in constant pratfalls.

The comedy is quite old fashioned but that does not detract much from what is still an entertaining and occasionally tense Western. There is some impressive stunt-work, and the direction from Norman Z. McLeod ("Monkey Business", "Topper") makes good use of back projection to blend the sets with pre-recorded action.

The DVD picture quality is good and very colourful, and the disc includes English Hard of Hearing subtitles.

“The Paleface” (1948) is out now on DVD, courtesy of Fabulous Films Ltd. The main feature has a running time of 87 minutes approx, carries a ‘U’ certificate and retails for £12.99, or less from www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Monday, 27 April 2015 08:17

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