Son of Paleface (1952)

94-95 mins | Western | August 1952

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HISTORY

The film was copyrighted twice, on 1 Aug 1952, by Hope Enterprises, Inc. Son of Paleface was a sequel to the highly successful 1948 Paramount film The Paleface , which also starred Bob Hope and Jane Russell (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). Both films were co-written by Frank Tashlin, who directed this film as well, and featured the Academy Award-winning song "Buttons and Bows" by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. According to the file on Son of Paleface in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library, writers Walter Reisch, Monte Brice and Barney Dean worked on the screenplay, but it has not been determined if they made any contributions to the released film.
       The Paramount Collection also contains a reference to the dance hall girls in Son of Paleface . While the film's onscreen credits list them as "8 Beautiful Girls 8," they were originally to be referred to as "The Dirty Shame Rockettes." During the film's opening scene, a shot of Bing Crosby driving a car is seen. In voice over, Hope refers to him as "an old character actor on the Paramount lot we try to keep working. He's supporting a large family. But I guarantee you this fellow will not be in the picture tonight." Noted Paramount producer and director Cecil B. DeMille also makes an unbilled cameo appearance in the film as a still photographer, and the film's co-writer/producer Robert L. Welch appears as his assistant.
       According to the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the song "California Rose" by Livingston and Evans was originally entitled "Rose ... More Less

The film was copyrighted twice, on 1 Aug 1952, by Hope Enterprises, Inc. Son of Paleface was a sequel to the highly successful 1948 Paramount film The Paleface , which also starred Bob Hope and Jane Russell (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50 ). Both films were co-written by Frank Tashlin, who directed this film as well, and featured the Academy Award-winning song "Buttons and Bows" by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. According to the file on Son of Paleface in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library, writers Walter Reisch, Monte Brice and Barney Dean worked on the screenplay, but it has not been determined if they made any contributions to the released film.
       The Paramount Collection also contains a reference to the dance hall girls in Son of Paleface . While the film's onscreen credits list them as "8 Beautiful Girls 8," they were originally to be referred to as "The Dirty Shame Rockettes." During the film's opening scene, a shot of Bing Crosby driving a car is seen. In voice over, Hope refers to him as "an old character actor on the Paramount lot we try to keep working. He's supporting a large family. But I guarantee you this fellow will not be in the picture tonight." Noted Paramount producer and director Cecil B. DeMille also makes an unbilled cameo appearance in the film as a still photographer, and the film's co-writer/producer Robert L. Welch appears as his assistant.
       According to the file on the film in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, the song "California Rose" by Livingston and Evans was originally entitled "Rose of Monterey." HR news items include Richard Martin, Michael Moore, Don Porter, Ralph Dumke, Albert Sharpe, Joe Irogoyen, Sharon Lucas, Jimmy Dundee and Alan Calm in the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed. Jack Brooks received a 1952 Academy Award nomination in the "Best Song" category for his composition "Am I in Love?", but lost to the Dimitri Tiomkin-Ned Washington song "High Noon," from the Stanley Kramer film of the same name (See Entry).
       Son of Paleface was noted singing cowboy star Roy Rogers' last film for over twenty years. Aside from a brief cameo appearance in another Bob Hope western-comedy, Alias Jesse James , released in 1959 by United Artists (See Entry), Rogers went into a self-imposed retirement from the big screen until 1975, when he starred in Macintosh and T. J. for Penland Productions. Rogers remained a fixture on the small screen throughout the 1950s, however, as The Roy Rogers Show ran on the NBC television network from 1951 to 1957. According to modern sources, Son of Paleface was filmed from 13 Aug to 6 Oct 1951 at both Paramount Studios and Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, CA. More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
19 Jul 1952.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jul 52
p. 3.
Film Daily
14 Jul 52
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Aug 51
p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter
30 Aug 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 51
p. 8.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Sep 51
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
2 Oct 51
p. 7.
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 52
p. 3.
Motion Picture Daily
14 Jul 1952.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
19 Jul 52
p. 1453.
New York Times
2 Oct 52
p. 32.
Variety
16 Jul 52
p. 6.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Smartest Horse in the Movies
Bob St. Angelo
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
2d unit dir
Asst dir
PRODUCER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Ed consultant
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Cost
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Spec photog eff
DANCE
Dances staged by
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
SOURCES
SONGS
"California Rose," "Wing-Ding Tonight," "What a Dirty Shame" and "Buttons and Bows," music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
"Lovejoy's Tonic," lyrics by Jack Brooks, performed to the tune "Yankee Doodle," traditional
"Am I in Love?" and "Four Legged Friend," music and lyrics by Jack Brooks
+
SONGS
"California Rose," "Wing-Ding Tonight," "What a Dirty Shame" and "Buttons and Bows," music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
"Lovejoy's Tonic," lyrics by Jack Brooks, performed to the tune "Yankee Doodle," traditional
"Am I in Love?" and "Four Legged Friend," music and lyrics by Jack Brooks
and "There's a Cloud in My Valley of Sunshine," music and lyrics by Jack Hope and Lyle Moraine.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
August 1952
Production Date:
mid August--early October 1951
Copyright Claimant:
Hope Enterprises, Inc.
Copyright Date:
1 August 1952
Copyright Number:
LP1912, LP1942
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
94-95
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
15695
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Upon his graduation from Harvard in 1896, Eastern dandy Junior Potter is sent West by his fiancée Penelope to collect his inheritance. Meanwhile, a rash of stagecoach robberies by an outlaw gang led by a masked bandit known as "The Torch" is plaguing California's gold country, so Governor Freedman calls for federal aid, which comes in the form of government agents Roy Rogers and Doc Lovejoy. Posing as medicine show performers, Roy and Doc arrive in the California town of Sawbuck Pass the same day Junior appears in his new automobile. After hitting Doc's wagon with his out-of-control jalopy, which then knocks Roy and his horse Trigger into the mud, Junior is threatened with "the hoosegow" until he announces that he is the son of the infamous Indian fighter, Paleface Potter. At the reading of his father's will, however, Junior learns that Paleface thought of him as "an idiot" and left him seemingly little more than an empty chest. Realizing that the townspeople will kill him, as they expect him to pay Paleface's long outstanding debts out of his inheritance, Junior pretends that the chest is filled with gold and promises to make good on all claims against his father in two days. The townspeople are not Junior's only problem, however, as the local Indian tribe, led by Chief Yellow Cloud, seek to kill Junior to avenge the murderous acts of his father. Deserted by Penelope, Junior attempts to sneak out of town that night, only to be stopped by Ebeneezer Hawkins, his father's old prospecting partner. Ebeneezer convinces Junior that Paleface hid his fortune before returning to Boston and urges the college graduate to ... +


Upon his graduation from Harvard in 1896, Eastern dandy Junior Potter is sent West by his fiancée Penelope to collect his inheritance. Meanwhile, a rash of stagecoach robberies by an outlaw gang led by a masked bandit known as "The Torch" is plaguing California's gold country, so Governor Freedman calls for federal aid, which comes in the form of government agents Roy Rogers and Doc Lovejoy. Posing as medicine show performers, Roy and Doc arrive in the California town of Sawbuck Pass the same day Junior appears in his new automobile. After hitting Doc's wagon with his out-of-control jalopy, which then knocks Roy and his horse Trigger into the mud, Junior is threatened with "the hoosegow" until he announces that he is the son of the infamous Indian fighter, Paleface Potter. At the reading of his father's will, however, Junior learns that Paleface thought of him as "an idiot" and left him seemingly little more than an empty chest. Realizing that the townspeople will kill him, as they expect him to pay Paleface's long outstanding debts out of his inheritance, Junior pretends that the chest is filled with gold and promises to make good on all claims against his father in two days. The townspeople are not Junior's only problem, however, as the local Indian tribe, led by Chief Yellow Cloud, seek to kill Junior to avenge the murderous acts of his father. Deserted by Penelope, Junior attempts to sneak out of town that night, only to be stopped by Ebeneezer Hawkins, his father's old prospecting partner. Ebeneezer convinces Junior that Paleface hid his fortune before returning to Boston and urges the college graduate to think of any hints his father may have given him as to its whereabouts. Soon thereafter, Junior falls in love with Mike Del Roy, the beautiful and wealthy owner of the Dirty Shame saloon, who is also The Torch. Mike agrees to date Junior in order to gain access to his father's gold, while Junior plans to marry her so that he can use her money to pay off Paleface's debts. In the meantime, Roy uncovers Mike's dual identity and asks the governor to reinstate the gold shipments, hoping to trap The Torch and her gang in the act. To that end, Roy serenades Mike, while Doc files a mark in one of her horse's shoes in order to track her movements. The federal agents' plan seems to work, as The Torch and her gang hold up the stage that night, but Mike has a seemingly air-tight alibi in her new fiancé Junior, who thinks she was with him all evening. Junior is unaware, however, that Mike drugged his drink and he was actually asleep in her room during the holdup. The next morning, Junior finds a note in the false bottom of his father's chest, but Ebeneezer takes it from him before he can read its contents. Escaping the angry townspeople, Junior heads to Sterling City to meet up with Ebeneezer, but his car breaks down in the middle of the desert. Two days later, Junior finally arrives in the ghost town, only to find the old prospector murdered, having been killed by Kirk, the chief henchman of Mike's gang. Meanwhile, Mike breaks out of jail and arrives in Sterling City. Though she originally intended to leave Junior there to be killed by the approaching Indians, Roy convinces her that the governor will reduce her sentence if she offers her full cooperation, as he has learned that her father's fortune was stolen by Paleface. During the ensuing Indian attack, Junior is visited by the ghost of his father, who gives him the courage to help Roy and Mike fight off the marauders. A stray bullet then strikes a mounted mouse head, emptying it of Paleface's hidden gold. When Junior and Mike leave Sterling City in his car to seek help, the Indians follow them. Meanwhile, Roy returns to Sawbuck Pass just in time to single-handedly capture Kirk and the rest of The Torch's gang. Making a wrong turn, Junior drives his car off a gorge, but when Mike promises to marry him, he opens an umbrella and the vehicle safely flies to the other side. Years later, Junior waits with Roy outside the state prison for Mike's release, and the faithful husband is united with his wife and his four young sons. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.