“There’s a million Indians out here against one coward!”
Calamity Jane (Jane Russell) is offered a pardon if she can discover who’s selling guns to Native Americans, and hoodwinks a cowardly dentist (Bob Hope) into marrying her as part of her disguise.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Bob Hope Films
- Jane Russell Films
- Mistaken Identities
- Native Americans
- Satires and Spoofs
- Strong Females
Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary refers to this top-grossing Bob Hope comedy (scripted by Frank Tashlin and directed by Norman Z. McLeod) as “engaging”, noting that while it has “an unfortunate lack of visual wit”, Hope’s “non-stop wisecracking is most often on target”. He calls out a few of the “top comedy sequences”, and notes that, for him, the “picture’s highlight has Hope singing ‘Buttons and Bows’ to Russell”. While I’m basically in agreement with Peary’s positive but not overly enthusiastic review, I’ll admit I simply didn’t find it all that funny this time around (I remember enjoying it quite a bit more when I first saw it years ago). Perhaps I’ve simply watched too many Bob Hope films recently, but I didn’t find his performance in this one to be particularly memorable or side-splitting. With that said, it’s always refreshing to see a strong female character like Calamity Jane on-screen (Russell is fine in the role), and I did enjoy the bawdy comedic tension generated by Hope’s perpetually unconsummated marriage to the bodacious Russell.
Note: Interestingly, this title is included in the notoriously snooty 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, though the reviewer is frustratingly elusive as to exactly why it should be considered “must-see”.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Hope singing the pleasantly hummable Oscar-winning song “Buttons and Bows”
No, though it’s worth a look simply for its historical popularity.
(Listed in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die)