The Paleface (1948)

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Calamity Jane is despatched to find out who's smuggling rifles to the Indians, and winds up married to a hapless correspondence school dentist as part of her cover.



(original screenplay) (as Edmund Hartmann) , (original screenplay), 4 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Iris Adrian ...
Bobby Watson ...
Toby Preston (as Robert Watson)
Jackie Searl ...
Jasper Martin (as Jack Searl)
Joseph Vitale ...
Charles Trowbridge ...
Jeff York ...
Big Joe
Stanley Andrews ...
Commissioner Emerson
Wade Crosby ...
Chief Yowlachie ...
John Maxwell ...
Village gossip


Someone is selling guns to the Indians and in order to find the culprit Calamity Jane and a secret agent go undercover posing as man and wife. When the agent is killed Jane recruits a new husband -- none other than innocent dupe "Painless" Peter Potter, a totally inept dentist and confirmed coward who's main goal is to leave the barbaric west far behind. When their wagon train is attacked by the Indians it's Jane's sharpshooting that saves the day, but she gives the credit to Potter making him an instant hero to the townspeople and instant target to both the Indians and the gunrunners. Written by A.L.Beneteau <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Like Merry Xmas and Happy New Year...They belong together! See more »


Comedy | Western


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

24 December 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A sápadt arcú  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


When the gunrunners arrive in the Indian village they are seen to be travelling in a covered-wagon in one shot, and on an open buckboard covered with furs in the next shot. See more »


Potter: That's Indian country out there!
Calamity Jane: You're not afraid of a few Indians, are you?
Potter: It's not the Indians I'm afraid of. It's their attitudes.
See more »


Referenced in Raquel! (1970) See more »


Meetcha Round The Corner
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Sung by Iris Adrian (dubbed by Annette Warren)
Then danced by Bob Hope and Iris Adrian
See more »

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User Reviews

Painless Peter Potter.
4 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Bob Hope is in his element in this type of role, here he plays a dopey dentist named Painless Peter Potter, he is the kind of dentist that pulls the wrong teeth and gets high on his own laughing gas. Here he manages to get involved with Calamity Jane {a positively smouldering Jane Russell} and a caper set around rouge Cowboys selling guns and dynamite to the Indians. After mistakenly being taken for a hero after repelling an Indian attack and killing a number of them during said attack, we are taken on this delightful journey as Potter the coward transforms himself into a bravado gun slinger whilst not realising it's actually Calamity pulling his strings and shooting the pistols. It's a smashing comedy that perfectly showcases Hope's immeasurable talent for delivering one liners, in fact few comedians in history can deliver a quip better than Hope could. The chemistry between Russell and Hope is as sharp as the writing, and to cap it all off we get the delightful song Buttons & Bows to hum along to, smashing uplifting comedy, 8/10.

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