Along Came Jones ★★★

Stuart Heisler directs this comedy western about a mild-mannered cowboy who is mistaken for a notorious outlaw. Starring Gary Cooper, Loretta Young, William Demarest, Dan Duryea and Frank Sully.

Melody Jones (Gary Cooper) is a relaxed cowboy who gets himself vanished on the trail and ends up in the tiny town of Payneville. Seeing the personalises "MJ" on his burden, the residents of Payneville mistake Melody for the unfaithful outlaw Monte Jarrad (Dan Duryea), and they almost murder him before he is saved by Cherry de Longpre (Loretta Young). Appreciative for her support, Melody falls for de Cherry, but has no idea that she is Jarrad's girl and that she aims to use him to help Jarrad escape detention.

Gary Cooper gives a good performance in his role as Melody Jones, the gentle cowboy who is almost killed by the people of Payneville but is rescued and falls for the woman who saved him. He suits his role well.

Elsewhere, Loretta Young and Dan Duryea both give decent performances as Cherry and Monte. Cherry is the woman who saves Melody from death and he really appreciates her for that, while Monte is the man in a relationship with Cherry and aims to cause as much trouble as possible.

Keep an eye out for William Demarest and Frank Sully who appear as George Fury and Avery de Longpre. George is Melody’s pal, while Avery is Cherry’s father.

The direction from Heisler is good because he allows the facial expressions to be seen to a strong effect throughout, while also keeping a tense atmosphere happening on occasions as well.

The script is written to a decent standard by Nunally Johnson as the movie is good to follow and with the humour on offer, the film never takes itself too seriously, considering what the main part of the story is about.

The camera stands out best in terms of the technical aspects, because it makes good use of the locations and also captures the tense and humorous moments well, which get the edge-of-the-seat status.

Overall, Along Came Jones isn’t an outstanding comedy western, but it’s certainly enjoyable to do the good performances, direction, script, humour and black-and-white cinematography.

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