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Alias Jesse James (1959)

Approved | | Comedy, Romance, Western | 20 March 1959 (USA)
The outlaw T.J. 'Jesse' James tries to kill insurance agent Milford Farnsworth who has been mistaken for him in order to collect on a big policy.

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Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Milford Farnsworth
...
Cora Lee Collins
...
...
Princess Irawanie (as Gloria Talbot)
...
...
Titus Queasley
Mary Young ...
...
Tough #2 in Dirty Dog Saloon
Bob Gunderson ...
James Gang Member
...
James Gang Member (as Fred Kohler)
...
James Gang Member
...
James Gang Member
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Gene Autry (scenes deleted)
...
Bret Maverick (scenes deleted)
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Storyline

Inept insurance salesman Milford Farnsworth sells a man a $100,000 policy. When his boss learns the man was Jesse James he sends Milford after him with money to buy back the policy. After a masked Jesse robs Milford of the money, Milford's boss heads out with more money. Jesse learns about it and plans to rob him, have Milford dressed as him get killed in the robbery, and then collect the $100,000. Written by Maurice VanAuken <mvanauken@a1access.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This town ain't big enough for both of us ! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1959 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ein Schuß und 50 Tote  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(DeLuxe)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The climactic gunfight features cameos by Bing Crosby and surprise appearances by actors who, at the time, were starring or had recently starred in extremely popular Western television series (such as Maverick (1957), The Roy Rogers Show (1951), Annie Oakley (1954)) and Western movies such as High Noon (1952) (Gary Cooper). They appeared playing the same roles that they had played on their shows. See more »

Goofs

According to the date on Queasley's telegram, the film takes place in 1880. Yet Milford and Cora Lee sing a song mentioning Grant's Tomb, even though former President Ulysses S. Grant didn't die until 1885, and his tomb in New York City wasn't built until many years after that. Also, Milford sees a young boy playing the piano, who tells him his name is Harry Truman. Truman wasn't born until 1884. See more »

Quotes

Titus Queasley: Farnsworth, what do you expect to achieve with such crass ineptitude, such utter incompetence, such colossal stupidity?
Milford Farnsworth: Well, I was hoping to become your assistant.
See more »

Connections

References Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Protection
Music by Arthur Altman
Lyrics by Bud Burtson
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User Reviews

 
Amusing Hope comedy as another cowardly hero out west...
25 January 2008 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

The Bob Hope movies I liked best were the ones that were a mixture of mirth and murder (CAT AND THE CANARY, THE GHOST BREAKERS), where he played the cowardly hero who gets the girl in the final reel. His westerns were fun too, films like THE PALEFACE or SON OF PALEFACE. It's good to report that ALIAS JESSE JAMES fits the standard for his western spoofs, all done up in fancy Technicolor and given a good cast.

The comic set-up has him selling a life insurance policy to Jesse James (WENDELL COREY) and then told by his bosses that he must go out west and get the policy back at all costs--even if it means his own life, since the policy is worth $100,000. BOB HOPE, of course, takes the assignment and gets mixed up with the James brothers (brother Frank James is played by JIM DAVIS). Not only is he surrounded by a gun-toting gang but he falls in love with Jesse's girl (RHONDA FLEMING), who is fed up with Jesse and ready for a new beau.

The laughs are steady as Hope fumbles his way through one laughable but impossibly silly situation after another, ready with the one-liners and getting the most out of a zany script. A chase toward the end is full of sight gags that work and the final shootout shows him shooting at the town villains while others do the actual killing shots--including GARY COOPER, JAMES ARNESS, WARD BOND, ROY ROGERS, GAIL DAVIS and, no surprise, BING CROSBY.

It's a lightweight romp for Hope and Fleming, with WENDELL COREY surprisingly good as Jesse James and MARY YOUNG doing a nice job as his gun-toting ma.

Briskly directed by Norman Z. McLeod, it's simple minded fun played in broad farcical style by a pleasant cast and one of Hope's better films during the '50s.


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