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Friday, 2 August 2013

Classic Film Review: Son of Paleface (1952)

Son of Paleface is the sequel to The Paleface (1948), which I haven't yet seen. Still, it's not compulsory to have seen the first one to thoroughly enjoy the second.

Bob Hope plays the title character, a hapless Harvard graduate who travels to the Wild West to collect his father's fortune. Unfortunately, he can't seem to find it and his father's creditors are literally breaking down the doors to get to him. Elsewhere in town, Roy Barton (Roy Rogers) and his horse Trigger have arrived to track down the culprit for a recent spate of gold thefts in the area. The criminal is none other than Mike (Jane Russell), who has set her sights on the fortune she thinks Peter Potter Junior has. Oh, and there are Indians with a grudge against him too.

This is an hilarious film. It spoofs all the main aspects of Westerns but lovingly, and it doesn't skimp on the laughs. Hope is fantastic but, for me, Russell steals every scene she's in from the bandit scenes to the seductive dance number 'Wing Ding Tonight'. She and Hope bounce off each other extremely well, especially with their little duet reprise of the same song where she's in the bath and he's trying to peek through the keyhole. However, my favourite scene is definitely the shaving scene in the derelict hotel where they sing 'Am I In Love?' together. Russell is at her most witty and gorgeous in this film, no question about it.

With all my attention on Hope and Russell, I almost disregarded Rogers and Trigger entirely, although the scene where Peter Potter Junior and Trigger fight over bed covers is quite amusing. There are too many good scenes in this one to describe but they all add up to a fabulous comedy that showcases Hope and Russell perfectly.

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