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Alias Jesse James
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Reviews & Ratings for
Alias Jesse James More at IMDbPro »

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19 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Funny film with dated cameos.

7/10
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York
27 May 2004

Bob Hope plays his usual dimwitted cluck who in this film happens to be an insurance salesman. Only Hope, one step from being given the boot and desperate to sell a policy, would sell one to Jesse James. Jesse being the smart guy he is decides this has potentiality. He can fake his own death and lay low for a while with a nice nest egg. Bank robbery, train robbery, his usual line of work does have some risk attached to it. Now guess who the schnook he figures he'll bump off to be the dead Jesse James? Why its Hope come west to protect Jesse until the home office figures a way to cancel the policy.

I saw this in the movies way back when I was 12 years old and it first came out. As such I appreciated fully the significance of the cameo appearances of all those TV western stars. TV westerns were at their height at that time so anyone who saw this knew for instance that Ward Bond was Major Seth Adams of Wagon Train. Today, I wager, that viewers will recognize Bond as Bert the Cop from It's A Wonderful Life unless Wagon Train is being run on Hallmark at the time. Similarly Gail Davis as Annie Oakley or Hugh O'Brian as Wyatt Earp (a show I wish some cable channel would pick up). Nice gag, but dated now.

Nevertheless its a very funny picture with the lovely Rhonda Fleming as Jesse's girl and beneficiary until she falls for Hope. So many smart women keep falling for Hope the schnook in his films. Wendell Corey is a crafty Jesse James with Jim (Dallas) Davis as brother Frank. And of course the obligatory appearance by Bing Crosby.

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16 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Great sight gags!

Author: (johnericketts@hotmail.com) from Whitefish Bay WI
3 December 2002

This movie was tied up for years due to royalty rights since 11 cowboy stars of the late '50s appear in cameos helping Bob Hope in the final shootout. Note that Gene Autry and James Garner do not appear in the current product, though they were in the original.

Then there is an owl-eyed kid named Harry Truman playing the piano. Bob clubs a gila monster ("The mice sure grow big around here"), then realizes he used a rattlesnake.

I've shown this tape to many people, and all agree it's the best Bob Hope movie and one of the funniest movies they've ever seen.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Paleface 3? Not quite, but a very enjoyable Hope picture it be.

6/10
Author: JohnRouseMerriottChard from United Kingdom
27 July 2008

Bumbling buffoon insurance salesman Milford Farnsworth sells notorious outlaw Jesse James a $100,000 policy. When his boss finds out who the customer is, he dispatches Farnsworth after James in the hope of buying back the policy, he also gives strict orders that Farnsworth must ensure that James comes to no harm.

Bob Hope sells Jesse James an insurance policy,! that alone should prepare you for what type of picture this is. There is nothing out of the ordinary here that we haven't seen before in most other Hope vehicles, and as a huge fan of The Paleface and the even better Son Of Paleface, I would point readers to those pictures by way of them being far better. However Alias has some fine moments that keep it way above average, in fact for visual gags this picture scores higher than most of Hope's better known comedies. Be it a steaming alcohol fuelled hat or a magic mushroomed fed horse, there is still much fun to be had as Hope plays out his winning formula. Along for the ride is the supremely sexy Rhonda Fleming as Jesse James' gal, Cora Lee Collins, and as James himself we get Wendell Corey looking as tho he is enjoying himself. The final reel of this film is now something of legend as we get to play spot the genre star during a protracted shoot out, stars such as Gary Cooper, Roy Rogers & Gail Davis join Bing Crosby to close the picture on a mightily high point. 6.5/10

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9 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

hope you like bob...

7/10
Author: meatpuppet from u.s.
7 June 2001

If you don't like bob hope, you might want to pass on this one. It is funny, but it's not as quick as the "Road" movies. Hope plays a life insurance salesman in the old west, who sells a huge policy to Jesse James! Bob is then sent to protect his policy holder and his job. In order to keep jesse safe, Hope risks life and limb by acting and dressing as the real gunslinger would. In his "alias" will Bob steal the trainrobber's girl to boot? Western fans might want to watch the Paleface, or Son of Paleface, before judging Hope on this one though. Basically the same movie made three times. "Alias" does have some cameo appearances from early television and movies i think western fans will find fun. Worth a watch.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Amusing Hope comedy as another cowardly hero out west...

6/10
Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
25 January 2008

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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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Bob Hope at his usual best.

Author: Teenie-1 from Warwick, Pa.
6 July 2002

This is a treat for those of us who enjoy side-splitting slapstick without being silly. Bob Hope has been an all-time favorite of mine and in this film he really knows how to get the laughs. He plays an insurance salesman who sells a life insurance policy to Jesse James (played by Wendell Corey) and falls for Jesse's saloon-singer/girlfriend (played by the lovely Rhonda Fleming). It has so many sight gags that it has to be viewed all the way through to really enjoy them. And the cameos by all the western stars during the shootout - what a great idea! Even the kids will get a kick out of this one. My 15-year-old even loved it, considering the junk that's called entertainment today for their age group. Get the family, get some popcorn, gather 'round the set, you baby boomers, and enjoy some great comedy.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A Really Fun Little Movie!

9/10
Author: azcowboysingr from United States
22 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I grew up on a steady diet of cowboys & Bob Hope, & I fondly remember this one from my teenage years at the local theatre. While it is not as great as "The Ghostbreakers", or "Son of the Paleface", it is still a very enjoyable and hilarious romp through the "old West". There are sight-gags & pratfalls galore, & some really witty dialogue & joke routines from Hope (even Wendell Corey manages to be funny in this one...quite a change from the stalwart Mountie in "The Wild North"!) I especially loved seeing the drop-dead beautiful Rhonda Fleming at the height of her career. When she kisses Bob, I had to grind my teeth in jealousy that it wasn't me instead. The ending is really an inspired bit of nostalgia, with many of the great cowboy stars from 1950s TV Westerns showing up in cameo roles. About the only ones missing are Paladin, Hopalong Cassidy, & the Lone Ranger (Tonto is there though...I think this was filmed during the time that Clayton Moore was in a salary dispute with his TV producers...maybe that explains his absence?). Gene Autry was in the theatrical release but was cut out of the version that plays on TV now...probably because his widow wouldn't give legal permission. I found it really sad that we were deprived of seeing him because of mere money. Gene was always one my favorite cowboy stars...sigh. Anyway, if you enjoy family-friendly films & classic comedy routines, then you'll love this movie.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Look at the cast list, pawdners!

9/10
Author: Chazzzzz (grok-huy@prodigy.net) from Jacksonville, Florida
2 November 1999

If Bob Hope, Rhonda Fleming & Gloria Talbott aren't enough to perk your interest in this hilarious Western-Comedy, take a look at who else appears! It's an all-star cast guesting in cameos! This is a must see for all Hope fans, all Western fans, and everybody who likes their movies to be fun! 9.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A ridiculous but fun Bob Hope film and Old Western satire

6/10
Author: Jenna from United States
29 July 2010

This film is utterly ridiculous. Where to begin… Bob Hope plays an inept life insurance salesman who sells a $10,000 policy to a mysterious stranger. He then finds out the stranger is none other than the notorious outlaw Jesse James, whom Hope must go out west to protect or his insurance company will go bankrupt (you'd think there'd be an easier solution…). The absurdity does not stop there. This film offers a unique depiction of Jesse James as a mild-mannered, community-oriented insurance fraud. For some reason, a helpful Indian princess shows up along the way.

Preposterousness aside, I had fun watching this film. The plot is really just an excuse for Bob Hope to entertain by feigning courage before comically sinking back into cowardice. While I mainly enjoyed Alias Jesse James as a Bob Hope fan, the film also benefits from Rhonda Fleming as Hope's genuinely lovely love interest, and western fans should get a kick out of the ending. I would advise those who are not yet Bob Hope fans to see Road to Morocco or another one of his more well-known films first – you've really got to be a fan of Bob Hope and of corny screwball comedies to enjoy Alias Jesse James.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

The music in this is fantastic. Guy Mitchell did the sound-track.

7/10
Author: user-264 from United States
16 February 2006

This is a great movie. The music was sung by Guy Mitchell with all original songs. Great music and a funny movie. If you like comedy westerns this is a great one.

I can't get over the music though. Guy Mitchell had one of the best voices ever. And these original songs are classic. Wish I could get a hold of the sound-track.

There will never be another Bob Hope. Seems like comedy today is nothing but dirt. Bob's was clean and funny and adult. This is probably the best comedy western ever completed by Hope. Too bad they couldn't keep the original cameos i.e. Gene Autry was in the original at the ending gunfight.

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