Son of Paleface (1952) starring Bob Hope, Jane Russell, Roy Rogers, Trigger, Paul E. Burns directed by Frank Tashlin Movie Review

Son of Paleface (1952)   4/54/54/54/54/5

Bob Hope as Junior Potter in Son of Paleface (1952)

Hope's Quick Trigger Comedy

It wasn't until I sat down to watch "Son of Paleface" that I discovered it was a sequel to "The Paleface", but the good thing is that you don't need to have to seen "The Paleface" to either understand or enjoy "Son of Paleface". The only thing you need to do is sit back and enjoy being inundated with humour from the quick talking comedy of Bob Hope to the amusing antics of Roy Rogers and his amazing horse Trigger. Add to that some feisty, sexy fun from Jane Russell, plenty of visual humour and some amusing musical numbers. Yes "Son of Paleface" is a full on spoof western and one of the daftest I have ever seen but it is one which hits you with fun from every angle.

Having graduated from Harvard Junior Potter (Bob Hope - Road to Rio) returns home to claim his inheritance, the gold he is sure his dad has left him. But not only does he find the chest empty where the gold should be but the locals want repayment for debts racked up by his father. That is not the only trouble facing Junior because there are Indians also after the gold and the sexy Mike Delroy (Jane Russell - His Kind of Woman) who is the head of a gang of outlaws known as "The Torch". But there is also undercover agent Roy Barton (Roy Rogers) and his horse Trigger who is masquerading as a wandering minstrel in order to try and track down the outlaws.

Jane Russell as Mike Delroy in Son of Paleface (1952)

Yes despite being a spoof western "Son of Paleface" does actually have a storyline and a surprisingly enjoyable one at that. Okay in the midst of all the mirth, one liners, visual humour and so much more the storyline is slim but it is the perfect vehicle as Junior tries to avoid angry locals whilst also flirting with Mike whilst they both have to deal with Roy Barton and Trigger. Maybe the additional aspect of angry Indians wanting their gold back is one element too far but then it does give the movie an ending.

But in truth "Son of Paleface" is not about the story but about the humour, the continual stream of daftness which never stops and I do mean never. We have the humour of Junior being a car driving Harvard man in the West, his car backfiring making the locals think the town is being shot up. Throw on to this the continual stream of quick fire one liners from Bob Hope and that alone is enough to make you laugh but then you have more, old fashioned slapstick and comedy such as a pair of legs running under the car. And I will go on because then you have the humour generated from Trigger being such a well trained horse, Jane Russell being sexy dangerous and some well put together comedy musical numbers. I reckon in the space of 95 minutes there are well over 500 gags, from spinning spurs to funny lyrics.

Now what this means is that you need to love Bob Hope and his style of comedy to enjoy "Son of Paleface" because so much of it centres on Hope's character of Junior Potter. But it is not just one liners, the visual humour from Potter's corny cowboy outfits to being out smarted by Trigger is just brilliant. And talking of Trigger, Roy Rogers and his horse are great not only delivering humour but Rogers musical numbers he shares with Hope and Russell are old fashioned charming. But lets be honest when you have Jane Russell in a movie it is hard to take your eyes off of her especially when director Frank Tashlin exploits her sexiness to the max.

What this all boils down to is that "Son of Paleface" is an intentionally daft western and so much fun for being so. It is 95 minutes of incessant comedy be it fast one liners from Bob Hope to the amusing antics of Trigger but it is the perfect antidote when you have grown bored of modern unfunny movies.