The Paleface (1948)

89 or 91 mins | Western | 24 December 1948

Full page view
HISTORY

In the film's closing scene, after Jane Russell is dragged off, Bob Hope says to the camera, "What do you want, a happy ending?" According to a Paramount News item, Paramount negotiated with representatives of Howard Hughes, who at the time of production had Russell under personal contract, to obtain the actress for this film. Information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals the following information about the production: The filmmakers originally considered Barbara Stanwyck for the part of "Calamity Jane." The wagon chase scene was shot on location in Chatsworth, and other scenes were shot at China Flats, the Conejo Airport and the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, all in CA. HR news items include the following actors in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed: Clint Dorrington, Speed Hansen, Ethel Greenwood, Marion Gray, Victor Travers, Al Stewart, Harry Ansel, Elmo Lincoln, Jack Ford , Tex Driscoll, The Cirillo Brothers--Michael, Charles and Tony--Robert Espinoza, James Archuletta, Richard Numena and Chief Sky Eagle.
       Songwriters Jay Livingston and Ray Evans won an Academy Award for Music for their song "Buttons and Bows." Although Paramount News reported in Oct 1947 that the Robert Mitchell Boychoir had been signed to sing "Buttons and Bows" in Paleface , the song was performed in the film as a solo by Bob Hope. A recording of the song was released prior to the film's opening, and several reviews mention that it became a hit without the aid of the film. A reported three million copies of the record and 700,000 copies of the sheet music were sold as ... More Less

In the film's closing scene, after Jane Russell is dragged off, Bob Hope says to the camera, "What do you want, a happy ending?" According to a Paramount News item, Paramount negotiated with representatives of Howard Hughes, who at the time of production had Russell under personal contract, to obtain the actress for this film. Information in the Paramount Collection at the AMPAS Library reveals the following information about the production: The filmmakers originally considered Barbara Stanwyck for the part of "Calamity Jane." The wagon chase scene was shot on location in Chatsworth, and other scenes were shot at China Flats, the Conejo Airport and the Iverson Ranch in Chatsworth, all in CA. HR news items include the following actors in the cast, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed: Clint Dorrington, Speed Hansen, Ethel Greenwood, Marion Gray, Victor Travers, Al Stewart, Harry Ansel, Elmo Lincoln, Jack Ford , Tex Driscoll, The Cirillo Brothers--Michael, Charles and Tony--Robert Espinoza, James Archuletta, Richard Numena and Chief Sky Eagle.
       Songwriters Jay Livingston and Ray Evans won an Academy Award for Music for their song "Buttons and Bows." Although Paramount News reported in Oct 1947 that the Robert Mitchell Boychoir had been signed to sing "Buttons and Bows" in Paleface , the song was performed in the film as a solo by Bob Hope. A recording of the song was released prior to the film's opening, and several reviews mention that it became a hit without the aid of the film. A reported three million copies of the record and 700,000 copies of the sheet music were sold as of 1949, when orchestra leader and songwriter Freddie Rich filed a plagiarism suit over the song. Paramount, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, Decca, Famous Music, RCA Victor, Columbia Records and Capital Records were named as defendants in the half-million-dollar suit. After "Buttons and Bows" was used in the film's 1952 sequel, Son of Paleface , Rich, who claimed portions of the song were taken from his score for Paramount's 1942 film Wildcat (see below, added $250,000 to his estimate of damages. According to various sources, twenty-two to thirty-two bars of "Buttons and Bows" were in question. A jury turned in a verdict in favor of Paramount, and Rich lost a later appeal in Feb 1955.
       As noted above, in 1952, Hope and Russell starred in a sequel to The Paleface called Son of Paleface , directed by Frank Tashlin. In 1968, The Paleface was remade into The Shakiest Gun in the West , with Alan Rafkin directing and Don Knotts and Barbara Rhoades starring. Among the many other films featuring Martha Jane Canary, popularly known as "Calamity Jane," are: the 1923 Famous Players-Lasky film Wild Bill Hickock , directed by Clifford S. Smith and starring Ethel Grey Terry and William S. Hart (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1921-30 ; F2.6360); the 1936 Cecil B. DeMille film The Plainsman , starring Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40 ; F3.3472); the 1949 film Calamity Jane and Sam Bass , directed by George Sherman, and starring Yvonne de Carlo and Howard Duff (see above); and the 1995 United Artists film Wild Bill , directed by Walter Hill, and starring Ellen Barkin and Jeff Bridges. More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
23 Oct 1948.
---
Daily Variety
20 Oct 48
p. 3, 9
Daily Variety
22 Feb 1955.
---
Film Daily
20 Oct 48
p. 8.
Harrison's Reports
23 Oct 1948.
---
Hollywood Citizen-News
1 Jul 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Aug 47
p. 14.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Aug 47
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
11 Aug 47
p. 13.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Sep 47
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 47
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
24 Sep 47
p. 11.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Sep 47
p. 13, 16
Hollywood Reporter
29 Sep 47
p. 9.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Oct 48
p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 48
p. 3.
Hollywood Reporter
17 Jun 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Jul 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
2 Jul 1953.
---
Hollywood Reporter
14 Jul 1953.
---
Los Angeles Times
19 Dec 1948.
---
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
30 Oct 48
p. 4366.
New York Times
16 Dec 48
p. 41.
Variety
20 Oct 48
p. 11.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
Robert Watson
Francis J. McDonald
Olin Howland
Earl Hodgins
Al M. Hill
Bob Kortman
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
2d asst dir
Dir, 2d unit
Asst dir, 2d unit
Asst dir, 2d unit
PRODUCER
WRITERS
Orig scr, Orig scr
Orig scr, Orig scr
Addl dial
Contr on spec seq
Contr on spec seq
Contr wrt
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Stills
Cam, 2d unit
Cam, 2d unit
Cam asst
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Art dir
Art dir asst
FILM EDITORS
Asst cutter
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
Props
Props, 2d unit
Props asst
COSTUMES
Men's ward
Ward
MUSIC
Mus score
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec photog eff
Transparencies cam
DANCE
Dances staged by
Dance dir
MAKEUP
Makeup supv
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Makeup artist
Hair
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech adv
Asst prod mgr, 2d unit
Asst prod mgr, 2d unit
Dial coach
Dial coach
Casting
Casting, 2d unit
Casting, 2d unit
Pub
Scr supv
Scr clerk, 2d unit
Stage eng
Cableman
Mike grip
Grip, 2d unit
Livestock
STAND INS
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Double for Bob Hope
Double for Jane Russell
COLOR PERSONNEL
Technicolor col consultant
Technicolor cam
Technicolor cam
SOURCES
SONGS
"Buttons and Bows" and "Meetcha 'Round the Corner," music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
"Get a Man," music and lyrics by Joseph J. Lilley.
DETAILS
Release Date:
24 December 1948
Production Date:
28 July--1 October 1947
addl scenes: 10 October 1947 and 22 January 1948
Copyright Claimant:
Paramount Pictures, Inc.
Copyright Date:
24 December 1948
Copyright Number:
LP2183
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Color
Technicolor
Duration(in mins):
89 or 91
Length(in reels):
10
Country:
United States
PCA No:
12786
SYNOPSIS

Sharpshooter and outlaw Calamity Jane is released from prison in order to catch renegades who have been smuggling guns to the Indians. She is ordered to Fort Deerfield, where she plans to join up with lawyer Jim Hunter and pose with him as a pioneer couple traveling West. Hunter is killed before Jane reaches him, but has left word for her to contact a friend of his named Hank Billings in the small town of Buffalo Flats. Jane is followed there, and makes a narrow escape with "Painless" Peter Potter, a timid, quack correspondence school dentist, whom she marries for the wagon train trip. Painless, completely oblivious to Jane's ulterior motives for marrying him, attempts to make love to her, but is met with a sharp thud on the back of his head every time he tries to kiss her. During an Indian attack on a pioneer camp, Jane deftly kills nearly a dozen Indians singlehandedly, but lets everyone, including Painless, believe he did the killing, hoping that the renegades will believe he is a federal agent. Meanwhile, in Buffalo Flats, Toby Preston, the renegades' leader, receives word that a new federal agent is about to arrive with the wagon train. When the wagon train pulls into town, Jane learns from Hank that two loads of dynamite came with them. Believing him to be the agent, Preston's men immediately attempt to get rid of Painless by ordering a saloon girl named Pepper to seduce him, thereby inciting the lethal jealousy of her boyfriend Joe. Painless talks tough and gives Joe until sundown to get out of town, and Jane decides to let him ... +


Sharpshooter and outlaw Calamity Jane is released from prison in order to catch renegades who have been smuggling guns to the Indians. She is ordered to Fort Deerfield, where she plans to join up with lawyer Jim Hunter and pose with him as a pioneer couple traveling West. Hunter is killed before Jane reaches him, but has left word for her to contact a friend of his named Hank Billings in the small town of Buffalo Flats. Jane is followed there, and makes a narrow escape with "Painless" Peter Potter, a timid, quack correspondence school dentist, whom she marries for the wagon train trip. Painless, completely oblivious to Jane's ulterior motives for marrying him, attempts to make love to her, but is met with a sharp thud on the back of his head every time he tries to kiss her. During an Indian attack on a pioneer camp, Jane deftly kills nearly a dozen Indians singlehandedly, but lets everyone, including Painless, believe he did the killing, hoping that the renegades will believe he is a federal agent. Meanwhile, in Buffalo Flats, Toby Preston, the renegades' leader, receives word that a new federal agent is about to arrive with the wagon train. When the wagon train pulls into town, Jane learns from Hank that two loads of dynamite came with them. Believing him to be the agent, Preston's men immediately attempt to get rid of Painless by ordering a saloon girl named Pepper to seduce him, thereby inciting the lethal jealousy of her boyfriend Joe. Painless talks tough and gives Joe until sundown to get out of town, and Jane decides to let him be killed in order to get rid of him. At the last minute, as Painless walks out into the street to meet Joe for a duel, Jane decides to save Painless in order to use him as bait, and shoots for him from a window, killing Joe. Hank later enters Jane and Painless' room with an arrow in his back and tells her that the dynamite is in the undertaker's parlor. Jane sends Painless after the dynamite, and he bravely holds up the renegades, but then is abducted by an Indian. He and Jane are then taken hostage at an Indian camp, where she confesses that she married him to aid her in catching the outlaws, but now loves him. Also at the camp is the white turncoat, Jasper Martin, whom Jane recognizes as one of the governor's aides. As Jane is tied to a stake and prepared for burning, Painless, transformed by Jane's love, rigs the dynamite to blow, and they escape. Later, as Jane and Painless leave for their honeymoon, she is pulled from the wagon by one of the horses and dragged off into the distance. +

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

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

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.