Screen legends Gary Cooper (High Noon) and Loretta Young (Lady From Cheyenne) saddle up for an action-packed comedy-western that's "loaded with laughs" (Variety). With inspired performances and lively direction, Along Came... more » Jones hits the bull's-eye for classic western entertainment. Melody Jones (Cooper) is a mild-mannered cowpoke who barely knows the difference between a six-shooter and a carbine rifle, but when he rides into Paynesville, he immediately commands the respect - and fear - of the entire town. The locals believe he's the notorious Monte Jarrad (Dan Duryea), a ruthless outlaw who's been terrorizing the frontier with his daring robberies and lightning-fast draw. At first, Jones enjoys his newfound fame, but that quickly ends when he finds himself the target of a bloodthirsty posse, a determined private investigator, Jarrad's double-crossed partners and the most dangerous enemy of all: Jarrad himself!« less
"Overall, this is an entertaining movie though it moves slowly. It's not a great film, but definitely worth seeing and a bit of a curiousity in the sense that the hero (Cooper) can't shoot a gun, bumbles around falling over himself and is ultimately rescued by a woman, Loretta Young. Not standard fare for 1945. In many ways, it's Mr. Deeds placed into a western. Cooper as Melody Jones seems a slow-witted innocent but is much smarter than he appears.The downside is the DVD. While not a horrible copy, it certainly isn't good. It appears as if no effort has been made to restore the film. In fact, you're left with the impression they grabbed whatever copy was handy. Some scenes are so dark you can't make out any detail beyond silouettes and many scenes are scratched or otherwise blemished. And of course, nothing to speak of in terms of features. It's a good price but it would be nice if MGM treated their films with a bit more respect. It's worth seeing however and, if you like Gary Cooper as I do, worth having. Also, if you like westerns this is a nice one to have because it is such a strange duck (as a western)."
"There's Nothin' I Like Better Than Bein' Saved From Gettin'
Bobby Underwood | Manly NSW, Australia | 09/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Why this always amusing and often very funny western spoof is not more widely touted has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. Gary Cooper produced this little gem himself through International Pictures and has a great time poking fun at his own screen image. Nunnally Johnson wrote the screenplay from a novel by Alan LeMay and Stuart Heisler directed with a humorous eye, evident in some of the background filler, moving more than a small sailboat fighting choppy seas.
A perfect cast that includes the beautiful Loretta Young, Preston Sturges favorite William Demarest, and Dan Duryea all play along in a very enjoyable film full of small chuckles. A case of mistaken identity and a terrific comedic performance from Gary Cooper make for great entertainment out west.
Cooper is Melody Jones, an easygoing cowboy who's been thrown on his hind quarters a little too often by broncs. Melody travels with his pal George (William Demarest) and the two end up on the wrong trail due to Melody's bad sense of direction, which is only one of his deficiencies as a cowboy. One of the others is his inability to handle a gun well. Melody is more apt to throw his gun across the room trying to fast-draw than get a shot off. This small but important fact is constantly brought to his attention by his pal George when they enter the small trail town of Payneville.
Unbeknownst to Melody, a notorious and much feared outlaw named Monte Jarrad (Dan Duryea) has just robbed the local stage where a man has been killed. When Melody and George ride into town, the M.J. initials on his saddle leads people to believe he's Monte, and Melody starts enjoying both the "high regard" afforded him and the fear his presence instills in people.
Cooper is hilarious, with his one eye open, one eye closed "dangerous expression" meant to show how tough he is. His droll pal George sees the downside though, knowing Melody couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with a big rock, much less his gun! Since there are also a few folks around Payneville who'd like to get rid of the outlaw, and a more dangerous few who'd like to relieve Monte of his money, Melody may need a little help.
In steps pretty Cherry de Longpre (Loretta Young). She keeps Melody and his pal George, who is natuarally assumed to be Monte's partner Roscoe, from being killed. She does so to throw suspicion on Melody and continue the charade, so her beau Monte, who is injured, can have time to get away. Melody does have some smarts though, and realizes what she's doing. But he's smitten with the pretty Cherry by this time and he and a reluctant George decide to play along.
The real Monte has turned mean rather than just wild, however, and once Melody plants a kiss on Cherry, her loyalty begins to wane. Cooper is a riot as he takes off his hat, wipes his lips with his sleeve, and plants one on Cherry that rocks her world. It is almost a parody of the exaggerated gestures in some silent films featuring matinee idols.
When George is injured by Monte, Melody decides to have a show-down with him. He's no match for the fast gun and mean spirit of the real Monte Jarred, however, and Cherry comes to his rescue. Melody wonders if she was trying to hit him, and the real show-down might require another one of those kisses!
Cooper is a hoot as the cowpoke out of high Montana who knows hundered of lines to the "round and round" song but can't handle a gun to save his life. Demarest is great as his saddle pal and Duryea plays his typical bad guy role with relish. Loretta Young is every cowboy's dream and prettier than a cool mountain stream to a thirsty man. An unusual and funny western that is great for a lazy weekend."
John | 05/08/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Whatever ALONG CAME JONES lacks in comic pacing is more than compensated by Gary Cooper's delicious romp of a performance as Melody Jones, a cowboy who can't shoot or fight. Cooper produced this himself -- he was the first star to form his own company -- and clearly knew what he had in the role of Melody Jones. This is also a film far ahead of its time in the role reversal plot, in which Loretta Young can outshoot Cooper. It is Loretta Young, not Coop, who faces down villain Dan Duryea in the climactic gunfight. Highly recommended for Cooper's tour-de-force performance."
FABULOUS! GIVE IT A SHOT!!
inframan | the lower depths | 09/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't know why there's only 2 parsimoniously humorless grinchy reviews of this movie on Amazon but I just saw it & it is very fine. Cooper & Demarest make an incomparably hilarious team & the script by Nunnally Johnson is a first rate comedy/satire.
Give it a try! You won't be sorry."
Cooper Spoofs His Western Image
Van T. Roberts | Columbus, Mississippi, USA | 12/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Everybody mistakes a fumble-fingered, song-warbling, saddle tramp for a dastardly desperado in director Stuart Heisler's satirical horse opera "Along Came Jones," toplining "Virginian" star Gary Cooper as the eponymous protagonist, Loretta Young as his sharp-shooting love interest, and Dan Duryea as the notorious bandit. "Jesse James" scenarist Nunnally Johnson derived this send-up of sagebrushers from "The Searchers" author Alan Le May's novel, and "Along Came Jones" was Cooper's first and only independent production. This easy-going, sentimental oater features several low-key but heartfelt performances, especially from Cooper as the incompetent cowpoke who couldn't hit the side of a barn with his six-shooter even if he threw it at it. William Demarest plays his comical sidekick who has more sense than the hero.
The production values of this modest Independent Pictures production reflect the restrictions imposed by the government on Hollywood during World War II. No movie could boast more than $5-thousand dollars worth of new production materials. Consequently, everything appears just as plain and generic as you can imagine. Nobody has more than a couple of costume changes, and the performers often act in front of back projected landscapes when they hit the trail. This is one of those westerns where you never see a train, the U.S. Calvary, a nation of war whooping Native Americans, or scenic Monument Valley landscapes. In other words, white Anglo-Saxon American Protestants swap bullets with each other over the course of its unhurried 90 minutes. Nevertheless, Cooper's amiable performance and Heisler's restrained helming make "Along Came Jones" a pleasure to watch. Interesting, "Along Came Jones" anticipated John Ford's last great western "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." Loretta Young does for Cooper in "Along Came Jones" what John Wayne did for James Stewart in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance."
"Along Came Jones" opens with a one-of-its-kind stagecoach hold-up. Monty Jarrad (Dan Duryea of "Ball of Fire") waits in ambush with his Winchester rifle as a six-horse stagecoach trundles along the river road and shoots the coach tongue that holds the horses in harness. The coachman loses control of the vehicle and its rear wheel smashes into the rocks at the side of the trail. Monty wounds the guard, armed with a Winchester instead of a shotgun, and the guy plunges off the swiftly moving vehicle and falls into a tree. The Wells Fargo coach careens to a halt into the side of the mountain, and Monty rides up to it, snatches the money bag from the driver, Ira Waggoner (Walter Sand), and hightails it off down the trail. The guard recovers himself sufficiently to hit the fleeing outlaw and Monty drops his rifle on the road. In a close-up, we can see his name etched onto the long gun: Monty Jarrad. The next shot shows a lawman posting a $1-thousand dollar reward dodger for Jarrad.
Song warbling Melody Jones (Gary Cooper of "Sergeant York") and his sidekick George Fury (William Demarest of "All Through the Night") are riding along when they spot the town of Payneville in the distance (bogus looking back projection again) and Melody realizes that they took a wrong turn at the fork in the road some 400 to 500 miles back. George shakes his head. "Well, it don't surprise me none, I can you tell you that a cowhand that goes in for breaking horses by the times he's your size, he's been hit in the seat of the pants so many times he ain't got any brains anymore--just a kind of yellow oatmeal in his head." Our heroes mosey into Payneville and the First Chance Saloon barkeeper notices the initials MJ on Melody's chaps and assumes Melody is Monty Jarrad. Melody spots pretty looking Cherry de Longpre (Loretta Young of "Ladies Courageous") prancing down the board. He follows her while George enters a saloon. George doesn't understand why everybody refers to him as Uncle Roscoe. Meanwhile, Melody eavesdrops on Ira who observes how "very nice" Cherry walks, and Melody slugs him. Before Ira can pull his six-gun, another citizen points to the chaps on Melody's horse with the initials MJ. Everybody thinks Melody is actually Monty. Melody has never commanded such respect from anybody. All the time this is happening, Melody has no clue why the citizenry are treating him with such latitude. George is infuriated his reception in the saloon. He hates being called Uncle Roscoe, Monty's sidekick. When he rejoins Melody, he complains about the town. Melody explains how to cast a big shadow. "You got to look like you're somebody and act like you're somebody, like you can take care of yourself no matter what happens, and then pretty soon you're somebody."
Eventually, Cherry saves Melody from getting ambushed in town and they ride out to her ranch. The real Monty Jarrad isn't so sure about Cherry's plan to make everybody believe that Melody is him. She explains that she has fixed them up so that the posse will be riding south after Melody while Monty can ride north. In the course of events, Cherry changes her mind about mean-spirited Monty, to the extent that she helps Melody out of several tight scrapes. She leads him to the shack where Monty has stashed the stolen loot and they find themselves up to their necks in one tight spot after another. Heisler keeps the action moving along fast enough so that this hokum never stalls out. "Along Came Jones" turned out to be a genuine crowd pleaser. Everybody who made it seems like they were have a ball. Nunnally Johnson provides some choice lines for everybody and the final shoot-out is a blast. There are enough twists and turns to make "Along Came Jones" more than just an ordinary western.
Unfortunately, the release print of "Along Came Jones" looks as rugged in spots as the frontier where the action occurs. However, this MGM/UA DVD does provide the trailer. "