Another double dose of Hope!
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 07/02/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's another disc in the very nicely done Bob Hope Tribute Collection. Again we have trailers and production notes, plus cast and crew bios. Two features for the price of one is always a good deal, and this installment in the set does not disappoint, with two classic Hope pictures, "Sorrowful Jones" and "The Paleface". Of the two (believe it or not), "Sorrowful Jones" is the real keeper. "The Paleface" is certainly more famous, and pretty funny in its own right as Bob plays a cowardly correspondance school dentist making his way across the Old West. However, the other feature hits the mark every time, while "The Paleface" tends be a bit uneven. On the other hand, "The Paleface" is pure farce, and introduces the song "Buttons and Bows" (sung here by Bob), that became a smash hit for Dinah Shore. Film fans should be on the lookout for an appearance by Iron Eyes Coty, forever famous as the Native American who sheds a tear in that classic environmental awareness ad from the 1970's. Jane "Cross Your Heart Bra" Russell plays Calamity Jane, who marries Bob so she can get a lead on some gun runners. The film spawned a sequel four years later ("Son of Paleface"), and was later remade with Don Knotts as "The Shakiest Gun in the West". "The Paleface" is also available as a stand-alone disc in the set, albeit with more bonus features. Frankly, I don't understand why Universal put the film on two discs when one would do, but there it is, anyway."Sorrowful Jones" is the second film version of "Little Miss Marker", a Damon Runyon story. The original film made Shirley Temple a star. Taking over the role in this one is Mary Jane Saunders (playing Martha Jane Smith), who all but steals the film from Bob Hope! Lucille Ball is along for the ride, playing a nightclub singer who helps Bob in caring for the kid. Meanwhile, the bad guy (Bruce Cabot), is trying to fix a big horse race, and kills off the kid's father in order to keep the secret. "Sorrowful Jones" is the better picture here probably because it's a bit more serious and/or sentimental. An incredible scene has Bob instructing Martha Jane on how to pray, and I can't remember seeing a scene that more clearly defines the cultural differences in films of yesterday from those of today. Talk about old fashioned values! Bob lays it all out for the kid in a simple and affecting way that's sure to stay with you.Like the other discs in the set, this one is a good bargain, and a disc you'll be glad to own."
Bob & Lucy plus Bob & Jane
Movie Mania | Southern Calfornia | 02/22/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Bob Hope Tribute Collection has many of his early films. This disc contains two films, Sorrowful Jones with his first partnering with Lucille Ball and The Paleface with his first partnering with Jane Russell.
Most people will recognize Sorrowful Jones by the more common name of Little Miss Marker. This is one of the most adapted of Damon Runyon's stories. This is one of the more faithful adaptations.
Sorrowful (Bob Hope) is a bookie on Broadway. Gladys O'Neill (Lucille Ball) is an old flame who is seeing gangster Big Steve. Big Steve just burned all the bookies with a horse race. But the next race, Dreamy Joe is going to lose. So Sorrowful is taking all book on the race. Sorrowful takes a marker from a gambler who leaves his daughter, Mary Jane, as the marker.
When the father overhears something he shouldn't, he "disappears". Sorrowful is stuck with Mary Jane. They learn that the father was found in the river and that she is now an orphan.
The racing commission is investigating the race and Big Steve needs a patsy to run his last Dreamy Joe scam. Sorrowful suggests transferring ownership of Dreamy Joe to the Mary Jane. This starts everything into action.
Gladys and Sorrowful start to get attached to Mary Jane. But when the police start to piece together what is happening, Big Steve starts to tie up the loose ends. This lands Mary Jane in the hospital with a concussion asking for Dreamy Joe. Sorrowful arranges to steal Dreamy Joe and take him to Mary Jane. Of course, a horse in a hospital is perfect comic fare for Hope.
As for most Damon Runyon stories, this ends happily in marriage.
The second feature is The Paleface. Jane Russell plays a beautiful Calamity Jane. Jane is facing 10 years in prison or she must help the Feds in stopping guns from getting to the Indians. She is to meet up with a lawyer who will pose as her husband. When she arrives, she finds the lawyer dead and men waiting for her. She escapes into a ladies bath which the first floor is occupied by Painless Pete Potter (Bob Hope), a novice dentist (read bad).
In a moment of desperation she hooks up with Painless and marries him. But she is really setting him up to be a target of the smugglers. The smugglers know about the Federal agent but don't know who it is. Painless leads the wagon train astray and the train winds up at an abandoned weigh station. The station is attacked by Indians and Jane kills eleven of them but everyone assumes that Painless did it. He becomes a hero.
They arrive in the town where the sale is going to be made. The bad guys try to set Painless up but Jane comes to his rescue. Jane and Painless get captured and escape. The ending is totally ridiculous but is still fun. Remember this is a Bob Hope film and reality does not apply!!
By this time Bob Hope had created a hapless personality via his Road films with Bing. This is an extension of that persona. This film won the Oscar for Best Song for Bob Hope's rendition of Buttons and Bows.
You are either a Bob Hope fan or not. If you are these are two of his best and best leading ladies.
DVD EXTRAS: None"
Delightful comedies, great for family viewing. Bob Hope, Lu
Los Angeles Reader | Los Angeles, CA United States | 02/17/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These two feature films are perfect for the whole family. They are terrific comedies that are well-written and well-acted. They make good entertainment.
I am amazed at the strong, dominating woman who could out-shoot, out-think and out-maneuver all the men around her, portrayed in a widely released film during the 1940s in Jane Russell's character in "The Paleface". Understandably, the film was a smashing success when it was first released.
The film "The Paleface" introduced the famous popular standard tune "Buttons & Bows", which Bob Hope sang to Jane Russell, trying to woo her.
Given the prominence of the actors and their outstanding performances, I recommend this double feature for your permanent film collection."