The Paleface (1948)

The Paleface poster

Paramount Pictures
Starring:
 Bob Hope, Jane Russell
Directed by: Norman Z. McLeod

This review contains a very mild Kitty Carnage Warning!

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Calamity Jane (Jane Russell) is coerced by the government to find out who is smuggling arms to the Indians. In turn she tricks a hapless dentist named Painless Peter Potter (Bob Hope) into helping her.

Cat Burglar (Scene Stealer): Late in the movie Painless is sneaking into an undertaker’s office where they suspect the arms are being stored. As he makes his way through the night, a black cat suddenly jumps out of a barrel in front of him in true spring-loaded cat fashion.

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming out of barrel

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming out of barrel

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming out of barrel animated gif

Painless makes a great effort to climb through a transom to get into the undertaker’s place. Once done the front door starts to slowly open. Painless pulls his gun and waits for the intruder. It turns out to the be same black cat coming in through the open door!

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming through door

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming through door

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat coming through door animated gif

Painless finds himself about to be caught by the bad guys when they suddenly arrive, so he climbs onto a table and puts a sheet over himself to appear as if he is a corpse. But the black cat isn’t done with him yet! The cat appears and jumps up under the sheet!

The Paleface - black cat about to climb dynamite crates

The Paleface - black cat climbing dynamite crates to crawl under sheet animated gif

The cat makes its way up Painless’ body under the sheet then sits with its tail in Painless’ face, waving it back and forth across his nose.

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope startled by black cat's tail under his nose

Kitty Carnage Warning!  Finally Painless gets fed up and bites the cat’s tail. The cat goes flying from the table with a screech, taking the sheet with him and leaving Painless to defend himself against the bad guys. The saving grace of this scene is the fact that it’s obvious the cat tail and flying cat are both fake.

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope looking at black cat's rear end in front of his face

The Paleface - Painless Potter Bob Hope biting black cat's tail

Final Mewsings: Friendly cats don’t understand espionage.


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