Alias Jesse James

Watch Alias Jesse James

"Look who they gave a gun!"
  • Approved
  • 1959
  • 6.4  (1,570)

Alias Jesse James is a 1959 American western comedy film directed by Norman Z. McLeod and starring Bob Hope, Rhonda Fleming, and Wendell Corey. The film is a parody of the western genre and is based on the true story of Jesse James, a notorious outlaw who became a legendary figure in American folklore. Bob Hope stars as Milford Farnsworth, a timid insurance salesman who is forced by his company to take on the dangerous task of insuring the life of Jesse James. Farnsworth is initially reluctant to take on the job, but when he is threatened with losing his job, he agrees to undergo a crash course in becoming a fast-drawing gunslinger.

Farnsworth then sets out to find Jesse James, who is played by Wendell Corey in a more sympathetic and affable portrayal than many previous cinematic depictions of the outlaw. Farnsworth initially fails to recognize James, who is posing as a respectable businessman, but soon discovers his true identity and strikes up a friendship with him.

As the two men bond, Farnsworth begins to have misgivings about his role in insuring James' life and decides to warn him of an assassination attempt. James takes the warning seriously and prepares to fight off his attackers, but Farnsworth's plans backfire when his own incompetence causes the would-be killers to mistake him for James and target him instead.

The rest of the film follows Farnsworth as he bumbles his way through a series of misadventures, including a stint as a circus clown and an ill-fated attempt to rob a bank. Along the way, he continues to cross paths with James, who tries to help him out of his various predicaments.

Rhonda Fleming co-stars as Cora Lee Collins, a saloon singer who catches the eye of both Farnsworth and James. Despite her sultry looks and seductive voice, she is a more complex character than the typical "damsel in distress" of western films, and is shown to be resourceful and street-smart.

The film features a number of well-known actors in supporting roles, including Jim Davis, Mary Young, and James Griffith. The script was written by William Bowers and Daniel B. Ullman, and its witty dialogue and slapstick humor are a tribute to the comic genius of Bob Hope.

Alias Jesse James received mixed reviews upon its release, with some critics praising its clever script and humorous performances, while others criticized its lack of serious action and its reliance on slapstick comedy. However, the film has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the best examples of the western-comedy genre.

Overall, Alias Jesse James is a lighthearted and entertaining film that offers a fresh take on the legend of Jesse James. Bob Hope's comedic talents are on full display, and the film's tongue-in-cheek approach to the western genre is sure to delight fans of classic cinema.

Alias Jesse James is a 1959 comedy. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

Alias Jesse James
Where to Watch Alias Jesse James
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  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (1,570)