The Paleface (1948 film)

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The Paleface
Poster - Paleface, The (1948) 01.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Norman Z. McLeod
Produced by Robert L. Welch
Written by Jack Rose
Melville Shavelson
Screenplay by Edmund Hartmann
Frank Tashlin
Starring Bob Hope
Jane Russell
Robert Armstrong
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography Ray Rennahan
Edited by Ellsworth Hoagland
Paramount Pictures
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • December 24, 1948 (1948-12-24)
Running time
91 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $4.5 million (US/ Canada rentals) [1]

The Paleface is a 1948 Technicolor comedy Western directed by Norman Z. McLeod, starring Bob Hope as "Painless Potter" and Jane Russell as Calamity Jane. In the film, Hope sings the song "Buttons and Bows" (by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans), which became his greatest hit by far when it came to record sales. The song also won the Academy Award for Best Song that year.[2]

The film had a sequel, Son of Paleface, in 1952. In 1968, Don Knotts remade the film as The Shakiest Gun in the West.


Peter "Painless" Potter (Bob Hope) is a dentist of doubtful competence. Out west, after the partner of Calamity Jane (Jane Russell) is killed while trying to discover who's been illegally selling guns to Indians, the cowardly Painless ends up married to Jane, who needs to keep her true identity a secret.

One day while protecting everyone during a hold-up, Jane gives all the credit to Painless, who becomes the townsfolk's "brave" new hero.

Radio adaptation[edit]

The Paleface was presented on Stars in the Air March 6, 1952. The 30-minute adaptation starred Bob Hope and Jane Russell recreating the roles they had in the film.[3]



  1. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  2. ^ Stafford, Jeff (2015). "The Paleface". Turner Classic Movies. Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 2, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved May 28, 2015 – via  open access publication - free to read

External links[edit]