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Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Cowboy And The Lady (1938)

A wealthy New York socialite (Merle Oberon) is staying at her Palm Beach house in Florida when on impulse, she goes on a blind date with her two maids (Patsy Kelly, Mabel Todd). Passing herself off as a ladies maid, she hooks up with a rodeo cowboy (Gary Cooper) but when a genuine romance develops, she is hesitant about telling him who she really is. Directed by H.C. Potter, this is a rather flabby romantic comedy. At times, the film seems to be Capraesque (not meant as a compliment) and it's at its worst when it attempts to do the "little people" vs. the upper classes bit. For a moment, the film seemed to be brave enough to go for a downbeat ending but no, within minutes we're given the feel good cornball finale to send the audience home happy. Cooper overdoes the dim hick bit and poor Oberon just doesn't have a comedienne's core. There's a long scene that requires a lot of physical comedy that someone like Lucille Ball or Carole Lombard could have easily nailed but Oberon comes off as awkward. The Alfred Newman underscore was Oscar nominated. With Walter Brennan, Harry Davenport and Fuzzy Knight.

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