Larry and Kitty are two middle-class suburbanites who find themselves growing bored with their lives and respective marriages. Although each always found the other grating in manner, they ... See full summary »
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 »
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 »
Farnsworth, what do you expect to achieve with such crass ineptitude, such utter incompetence, such colossal stupidity?
Well, I was hoping to become your assistant.
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Amusing Hope comedy as another cowardly hero out west...
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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