When Melody Jones (Gary Cooper) and his friend George Fury (William Demarest) ride into the town of Payneville, Melody is confused and kind of amused when everyone in town seems to be afraid of him. Melody’s a completely harmless guy, so imagine his surprise when Cherry de Longpre (Loretta Young) informs him there’s a gun pointed at him. She takes Melody and George back to her ranch and along the way, she explains that everyone Payneville thinks Melody is notorious outlaw Monte Jarrad (Dan Duryea). Melody and Monte really don’t look alike, but they do have the same initials and share some of the vague characteristics listed on Motne’s wanted poster.
Cherry urges Melody and George to get out of Payneville right away, and naturally, they take her advice. But once they get a little bit out of town, they realize their departure would be a perfect diversion for the real criminal to escape, so they go back to Cherry’s ranch to see what’s going on. It turns out Cherry and Monte had been friends when they were children, and even though she doesn’t like what he’s turned into, she still feels obligated to take care of him and has been hiding him in her barn. To protect Melody, Cherry lets him stay at her ranch for the night.
The next day, Cherry convinces Melody to take Monte’s saddle so he can distract the posse chasing Monte and Monte can get away. But when Melody goes to town posing as Monte, Melody gets into some trouble and has to be saved by Cherry. But there’s one thing that Monte left behind and that’s some of the money he stole. Even more problems arise for Melody and Cherry when other people come to claim it — including Monte himself.
I really wasn’t a big fan of Along Came Jones. It was nice to see Gary Cooper having some fun with the Western genre, but it isn’t a particularly well written movie. The basic premise of the movie had potential, but it wasn’t executed as well as it could have been. If you’re looking for a fun Western, definitely go with something like Destry Rides Again or Cat Ballou instead.