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 date
  • December 24, 1948 (1948-12-24) (Los Angeles)
  • January 25, 1949 (1949-01-25) (New York City)
Running time
91 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million[1]
Box office $4.5 million (US/ Canada rentals) [2]

The Paleface is a 1948 Technicolor comedy Western film 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). The song won the Academy Award for Best Song that year.[3]

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.



The film earned $3.5 million in rentals in the US in 1948.[4]

The film is recognized by American Film Institute in these lists:

Radio adaptations[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.[6] Hope and Russell also starred in a March 3, 1950, adaptation on Screen Directors Playhouse.[7]


  1. ^ Variety 18 February 1948 p7
  2. ^ "All-Time Top Grossers", Variety, 8 January 1964 p 69
  3. ^ Stafford, Jeff (2015). "The Paleface". Turner Classic Movies. Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  5. ^ "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs" (PDF). American Film Institute. Retrieved 2016-08-05. 
  6. ^ 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
  7. ^ "Those Were The Days". Nostalgia Digest. 41 (3): 32–39. Summer 2015. 

External links[edit]