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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The Paleface (1948)



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This exceptional comedy western is Bob Hope's crowning achievement. Rather than explicitly lampooning the western genre with parody, The Paleface is essentially a straight B-western with Bob Hope, relentless wisecracks and self-praises and all, transplanted in. The formula works like magic, thanks in part to Hope's co-star, tough outlaw Jane Russell, hired by lawmen to foil badguys in exchange for a pardon. Hope plays his usual cowardly buffoon with a tender heart and evokes our compassion and sympathy even more so than usual. Both the comedy and western aspects work, and there's even the beautiful, catchy song Buttons and Bows for yet a third successful source of entertainment.

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