Alias Jesse James (1959): Western Comedy Starring Bob Hope

In this funny Western comedy, Bob Hope plays greenhorn insurance salesman Milford Farnsworth, who sells a paid-up policy to a T.J. James, who he soon discovers is the legendary criminal Jesse James (Wendell Corey). The beneficiary is Jesse’s girl, Cora Lee Collins, a dance hall queen known as “The Duchess” (Rhonda Fleming).

 

Milford is sent West to retrieve the policy and get his company off the hook and he joins the James gang, to protect Jesse. Milford begins to emulate the notorious outlaw, which gives Jesse the idea that he can substitute the Milford for himself, collect the $100,000 insurance and flee to California with the Duchess.

 

Jesse’s plans are carried out and Milford is left in a ditch for dead. However, his bulletproof vest saves the day, and in the end, he and the Duchess hold off the James gang until reinforcements arrive.

 

Many of Paramount’s stars, including Gary Cooper, appear in the climax.

 

Cast:

Bob Hope (Milford Farnsworth)

Rhonda Fleming (The Duchess)

Wendell Corey (Jesse James)

Jim Davis (Frank James)

Gloria Talbott (Indian Maiden)

Will Wright (Titus Queasley)

Mary Young (“Ma” James)

Sid Melton (Fight Fan)

George E. Stone (Gibson Girl Fan)

James Burke (Charlie, bartender)

Joe Vitale (Sam Hiawatha)

Lyle Latell (Conductor)

Harry Tyler (Elmo, station master)

Mike Mazurki (Tough)

Mickey Finn (Tough)

Nestor Paiva (Bixby

Mike Ross (Killer)

Emory Parnell (Sheriff)

Stan Jolley (Conductor)

Dick Alexander (Jeremiah Cole)

Oliver Blake (Undertaker)

Jack Lambert (Snake Brice)

Ethan Laidlaw (Henchman)

Glenn Strange (Henchman)

J. Anthony Hughes (Dirty Dog Salonk eeper)

Bob Gunderson

Fred Kohler, Jr.

Iron Eyes Cody

 

Credits

 

A Hope Enterprises, Inc. Production.

Released through United Artists.

Color by DeLuxe.

Director: Norman McLeod.

Producer: Jack Hope.

Executive Producer: Bob Hope.

Scenarists: William Bowers and Daniel D. Beauchamp.

Photographer: Lionel Lindon.

Art Directors: Hal Pereira and Roland Anderson.

Special Photographic Effects: John P. Fulton.

Process Photography: Farciot Edouart.

Set Decorators: Sam Comer and Bertram Granger.

Costumer: Edith Head.

Editors: Marvin Coil and Jack Bachom.

Sound Recorders: Lyle Figland and Charles Grenzbach.

Music Arranger/Conductor: Joseph J. Lilley.

Music: Songs “Ain’t-A-Hankerin’” and “Protection” by Arthur Altman

Lyrics: Dunham.

Sung by: Guy Mitchell (over title credits).

Assistant Director: Daniel McCauley.

Based on a story by Robert St. Aubrey and Bert Lawrence.