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Along Came Jones

30 customer reviews

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(Sep 04, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Screen legends Gary Cooper (High Noon) and Loretta Young (Lady From Cheyenne) saddle up for an action-packed comedy-western that's "loaded with laughs" (Variety). With inspired performances and lively direction, Along Came Jones hits the bull's-eye for classic western entertainment. Melody Jones (Cooper) is a mild-mannered cowpoke who barely knows the difference between a six-shooter and a carbine rifle, but when he rides into Paynesville, he immediately commands the respect - and fear - of the entire town. The locals believe he's the notorious Monte Jarrad (Dan Duryea), a ruthless outlaw who's been terrorizing the frontier with his daring robberies and lightning-fast draw. At first, Jones enjoys his newfound fame, but that quickly ends when he finds himself the target of a bloodthirsty posse, a determined private investigator, Jarrad's double-crossed partners and the most dangerous enemy of all: Jarrad himself!

Along Came Jones is one of the most oddball artifacts from Hollywood's golden age. Gary Cooper (who doubled as producer) plays Melody Jones, a "common ordinary useless bronc-stomper" who moseys into the town of Payneville--or is it Painful?--just after legendary bad ass Monte Jarrad has held up the stagecoach. The townsfolk eyeball the "MJ" on Melody's stirrup, leap to hysterically wrong conclusions, and start giving him a wide berth--in some cases, the better to lie in ambush for "Jarrad" while planning how to spend the bounty money. Now, as it happens--and as his crusty sidekick George (the insuperably irreverent William Demarest) keeps reminding him--Melody can barely get his gun out of the holster without blowing his own kneecap off. All that stands between him and extinction is the quick-thinking intervention of a local maiden, one Cherry de Longpre (Loretta Young). Melody, of course, promptly becomes hogtied with love, not suspecting Cherry's the childhood sweetheart of the real Monte Jarrad (Dan Duryea)....

Stylistically the film is a wild mix, with director Stuart Heisler paying close attention to down-the-gun-barrel point of view in several scenes, yet also sitting still for floaty back-projection photography so egregious that it may bring on motion sickness. Still, Nunnally Johnson's script is droll; Cooper clearly relished the chance to poke fun at his strong-silent stereotype; and he and Preston Sturges stalwart Demarest establish a sardonic comic rapport. --Richard T. Jameson

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Gary Cooper, Loretta Young, William Demarest, Dan Duryea, Frank Sully
  • Directors: Stuart Heisler
  • Writers: Alan Le May, Nunnally Johnson
  • Producers: Gary Cooper, Walter Thompson, William Goetz
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 4, 2001
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005LOL6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,673 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Along Came Jones" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By W. Wren on September 8, 2001
Format: DVD
Overall, this is an entertaining movie though it moves slowly. It's not a great film, but definitely worth seeing and a bit of a curiousity in the sense that the hero (Cooper) can't shoot a gun, bumbles around falling over himself and is ultimately rescued by a woman, Loretta Young. Not standard fare for 1945. In many ways, it's Mr. Deeds placed into a western. Cooper as Melody Jones seems a slow-witted innocent but is much smarter than he appears.
The downside is the DVD. While not a horrible copy, it certainly isn't good. It appears as if no effort has been made to restore the film. In fact, you're left with the impression they grabbed whatever copy was handy. Some scenes are so dark you can't make out any detail beyond silouettes and many scenes are scratched or otherwise blemished. And of course, nothing to speak of in terms of features. It's a good price but it would be nice if MGM treated their films with a bit more respect.
It's worth seeing however and, if you like Gary Cooper as I do, worth having. Also, if you like westerns this is a nice one to have because it is such a strange duck (as a western).
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Bobby Underwood VINE VOICE on September 28, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Why this always amusing and often very funny western spoof is not more widely touted has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. Gary Cooper produced this little gem himself through International Pictures and has a great time poking fun at his own screen image. Nunnally Johnson wrote the screenplay from a novel by Alan LeMay and Stuart Heisler directed with a humorous eye, evident in some of the background filler, moving more than a small sailboat fighting choppy seas.

A perfect cast that includes the beautiful Loretta Young, Preston Sturges favorite William Demarest, and Dan Duryea all play along in a very enjoyable film full of small chuckles. A case of mistaken identity and a terrific comedic performance from Gary Cooper make for great entertainment out west.

Cooper is Melody Jones, an easygoing cowboy who's been thrown on his hind quarters a little too often by broncs. Melody travels with his pal George (William Demarest) and the two end up on the wrong trail due to Melody's bad sense of direction, which is only one of his deficiencies as a cowboy. One of the others is his inability to handle a gun well. Melody is more apt to throw his gun across the room trying to fast-draw than get a shot off. This small but important fact is constantly brought to his attention by his pal George when they enter the small trail town of Payneville.

Unbeknownst to Melody, a notorious and much feared outlaw named Monte Jarrad (Dan Duryea) has just robbed the local stage where a man has been killed. When Melody and George ride into town, the M.J. initials on his saddle leads people to believe he's Monte, and Melody starts enjoying both the "high regard" afforded him and the fear his presence instills in people.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By John on May 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Whatever ALONG CAME JONES lacks in comic pacing is more than compensated by Gary Cooper's delicious romp of a performance as Melody Jones, a cowboy who can't shoot or fight. Cooper produced this himself -- he was the first star to form his own company -- and clearly knew what he had in the role of Melody Jones. This is also a film far ahead of its time in the role reversal plot, in which Loretta Young can outshoot Cooper. It is Loretta Young, not Coop, who faces down villain Dan Duryea in the climactic gunfight. Highly recommended for Cooper's tour-de-force performance.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Chrijeff VINE VOICE on November 26, 2010
Format: DVD
In this comic Western, Melody Jones (Gary Cooper) and his crusty sidekick George Fury (William Demarest) happen into the Southwestern town of Payneville and into the tangle of their lives. Melody, it seems, bears a superficial resemblance to an infamous son of the region, one Monte Jarrod (Dan Duryea), who not only killed two members of a powerful local family some years earlier (preciptating his abrupt departure from the locality), but has recently returned and held up a stagecoach for some $40,000. Between the outraged Cotton family, the sheriff and his posse, the Fargo agent trying to recover the stolen money, various amateur bounty hunters looking to cash in on the bounty offered for Monte, and Monte's boyhood sweetheart, Cherry deLongpre (Loretta Young), who inexplicably makes up her mind to get Melody out of town before someone shoots him in the back, Payneville and its environs are not a healthy place for the two partners to be. That Melody is as inept with a gun as anyone you'd care to meet, and Monte is both vicious and ruthless, doesn't help. But Melody discovers that he doesn't like to be used and manipulated, and in the process he finds out some important things about himself and Cherry.

Cooper spoofs his "strong-and-silent" archetype with unexpected skill (it might be worth keeping in mind that he played in several "drawing-room" or "screwball" comedies during his glory days in the 1930's), although the extensive use of back-projection and sound-stage "exteriors" is distracting. Demarest provides excellent comic relief, Duryea is at his usual psychotic best, and there's a good bit of steadily-increasing tension too. This is one of my favorite light Westerns and one I was delighted to find on DVD.
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