Friends. If you are a Bob Hope fan, this Movie will not disappoint. It’s fun and so typical of the Humor that made Bob Hope famous. And it’s just a cute Movie to watch. I really enjoyed it and the final Shootout includes Western Stars that come out the woodwork to help Bob Hope with the Outlaws. It’s got Matt Dillon. Roy Rogers. And others. It’ll make you smile and maybe giggle too. But for sure, this is a barrel of popcorn fun. Enjoy!
The gunfight scene at the end of the film features a number of cameo appearances by movie and television personalities who help Farnsworth and Collins defeat the James Gang. Though none are identified by character name in the film, each actor is dressed to resemble the iconic western character he or she played, and they each speak dialogue that echoes their famous catchphrases or identifiable habits:
- Fess Parker as Davy Crockett
- Gary Cooper as Will Kane from High Noon
- Roy Rogers (as himself)
- Jay Silverheels as Tonto
- Hugh O’Brian as Wyatt Earp
- James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon
- Ward Bond as Major Seth Adams from Wagon Train (final film)
- Gail Davis as Annie Oakley
- Bing Crosby, dressed in western regalia, also makes an appearance at the gunfight’s climax
- Scatman Crothers as a train porter
Following the theatrical release of the film, some later versions did not include all the cameos due to myriad legal problems with the rights, but Hope’s clout at the time was so great that he managed to gather a dazzling array of screen cowboys for the original. The 2007 “MGM Movie Legends” DVD release of the film includes all of the cameos.
Foolish life insurance salesman Milford Farnsworth (Bob Hope) commits his biggest blunder yet when he unwittingly offers a six-figure policy to notorious gunslinger Jesse James (Wendell Corey). Furious, his boss orders him to repurchase the policy. James, however, parries Farnsworth’s attempts with ease, robbing and humiliating him. But when James’ latest scheme pairs the patsy with the bandit’s sweetheart, Cora Lee Collins (Rhonda Fleming), Farnsworth and Cora begin falling in love.
Alias Jesse James is a 1959 American Western comedy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod and starring Bob Hope and Rhonda Fleming. Based on a story by Robert St. Aubrey and Bert Lawrence, the film is about an outlaw who tries to kill an insurance agent who has been mistaken for him in order to collect on a big policy. Costumes by Edith Head.
|Alias Jesse James|
|theatrical release poster|
|Directed by||Norman Z. McLeod|
|Produced by||Jack Hope|
|Screenplay by||William BowersDaniel B. Beauchamps|
|Story by||Robert St. AubreyBert Lawrence|
|Starring||Bob HopeRhonda Fleming|
|Music by||Joseph J. Lilley (uncredited)|
|Edited by||Jack BachomMarvin Coil|
|Distributed by||United Artists|
|Release date||March 20, 1959 (US)|
|Running time||92 minutes|
|Box office||$1.9 million (est. US/ Canada rentals)|
Milford Farnsworth (Hope) is a bumbling insurance agent who unknowingly sells a life insurance policy to the outlaw Jesse James (Wendell Corey). Farnsworth is sent out West to protect the insurance company’s investment by “protecting” James.
James has his own plans to have Farnsworth killed while dressed as the outlaw, so that he and his soon to be “widow” Cora Lee Collins (Rhonda Fleming) can collect on the $100,000 insurance policy. Farnsworth avoids several attempts on his life while he and Collins fall in love with each other.
After the last attempt is made on his life, Farnsworth impersonates the justice of the peace who is supposed to marry James and Collins. When Farnsworth and Collins make a run for it, they end up in a gun battle with the James Gang where several Western heroes make their cameos to surreptitiously help Farnsworth. In the end Farnsworth is victorious, marries Collins, and becomes president of the insurance company.