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The Paleface (1948)

1:48 | Trailer
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.


Norman Z. McLeod


Edmund L. Hartmann (original screenplay) (as Edmund Hartmann), Frank Tashlin (original screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bob Hope ... 'Painless' Peter Potter
Jane Russell ... Calamity Jane
Robert Armstrong ... Terris
Iris Adrian ... Pepper
Bobby Watson ... Toby Preston (as Robert Watson)
Jackie Searl ... Jasper Martin (as Jack Searl)
Joseph Vitale ... Indian Scout
Charles Trowbridge ... Gov. Johnson
Clem Bevans ... Hank Billings
Jeff York ... Big Joe
Stanley Andrews ... Commissioner Emerson
Wade Crosby ... Jeb
Chief Yowlachie ... Chief Yellow Feather
Iron Eyes Cody ... Chief Iron Eyes
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 <albl@inforamp.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Perfect Team! A Perfect Theme! A Perfect Scream! They Belong Together! See more »


Comedy | Family | Western


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Despite being set largely on the wide open plains of the American West, a significant portion of this film (including the scene in which Hope first sings "Buttons and Bows") was shot on soundstages at Paramount, using painted skies and rear projection. 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 »


PepperThe Dirty Shame Saloon Dancers: [singing] Get a man, Get a man, Get a man - - Get a man, Get a man, Get a man - - Get a man, Get a man, Get a man
See more »

Alternate Versions

Remade in 1968 as The Shakiest Gun in the West, starring Don Knotts and Barbara Rhoades. See more »


Referenced in Frasier: Look Before You Leap (1996) 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 »

User Reviews

Bob Hope is hilarious in this western comedy!!!
20 May 2000 | by FelixtheCatSee all my reviews

Jane Russell plays Calamity Jane who is offered pardon on a ten year sentence if she tracks down the culprits who are selling weapons to the Indians. She hitches up with a dim-witted dentist, Bob Hope, so that she can trick the bad guys into thinking that he is the federal agent tracking them down, instead of her. Hope is conned into thinking that he has killed a dozen or so Indians, in one of the funnier scenes. Hope is extremely funny in this comedy western as he struts his stuff through the old west. Most jokes hit their mark, and Russell is as much fun as Calamity Jane as well. The catchy Oscar winning tune "Buttons and Bows" is given a voice by Hope early in the film.

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Release Date:

17 December 1948 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

The Paleface See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Recording)


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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