Along Came Jones (1945): Gary Cooper Western, Co-Starring Loretta Young

The only movie Gary Cooper produced, Along Came Jones, is an effort at a Western comedy, featuring Cooper and Loretta Young at the height of their popularity.

Along Came Jones
Along Came Jones.jpg

Theatrical poster

Grade: C+ (** out of *****)

Cooper plays Melody Jones, a mild-mannered cowpoke who drifts into a small town with his sidekick George Fury (William Demarest).  He’s innocently creating a situation in which he’s mistaken for notorious road agent Monte Jarrad (Dan Dureya).

Because of the physical resemblance and circumstantial evidence, Jones, who can’t even handle a gun, eventually finds himself the unwitting and indirect cause of the slaying of the hold-up man.

As a result, he gets the latter’s girl, Cherry de Longpre (Loretta Young), who is forced to make a quick decision and drills the gunman just as Jones is about to get killed by the outlaw.

Cooper in Along Came Jones

 

The movie, initially titled American Cowboy, was Cooper’s first Western since the much better 1940, The Westerner.

The movie tries to spoof Western cliches as well as the Western persona that Cooper had played in previous films, such as the lead character being unable to shoot straight and partial to singing “silly songs,” while riding his horse.

Cooper sings the song “I’m a Poor Lonesome Cowboy,” which would later become the
signature song of Lucky Luke in the comics series by René Goscinny and Morris.

Credits

Released by RKO-Radio Pictures, Inc.
Director: Stuart Heisler.
Producer: Gary Cooper.
Scenario: Nunnally Johnson, from an original story by Alan LeMay.
Camera: Milton Krasner.
Musical Score: Arthur Lange, Hugo Friedhofer, Charles Maxwell.
Editor: Thomas Neff.
Editorial Supervision: Paul Weatherwax.
Production Designer: Wiard B. Ihnen.
Set Decorator: Julia Heron.
Costumer: Walter Plunkett.
Makeup Artist: Gustav Norin.

Cast

Gary Cooper (Melody Jones)
Loretta Young (Cherry de Longpre)
William Demarest (George Fury)
Dan Duryea (Monte Jarrad)
Frank Sully (cherry’s Brother)
Russell Simpson (Pop de Longpre)
Arthur Loft (Sheriff)
Willard Robertson (Luke Packard)
Don Costello (Gledhill)
Ray Teal (Kriendler)
Walter Sande (Ira Waggoner)
Lane Chandler (Boone)
Frank Cordell (Guard on Coach)