Poor Mary Smith cant go night-clubbing or have any other fun because any hint of scandal could damage her fathers political career. She decides to rebel and convinces her two maids to let her go along with them on a blind date with some rodeo performers. She tells her date, Stretch, that shes a parlor maid and that she left home because her father beat her. The two fall in love and elope. Now Mary has a double dilemma continuing her charade with Stretch and keeping her marriage a secret from her father.
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This film has about as far-fetched of a plot as you can find: aPresidentialcandidate's wily daughter goes on holiday, takes company with a broodingyoung cowboy and eventually marries him. Without a doubt, this film is acurio, but is still watchable for the performances of two of my favoriteactors, Oscar-winner Gary Cooper and Oscar-nominee Merle Oberon. Won theAcademy Award for Best Sound.
If you're a Gary Cooper fan, stick with his more familiar rolesportraying Sergeant York, Lou Gehrig or Marshal Will Kane. Cooper seemsa bit stiff here, but it was still a few years before those betterknown and appreciated films. I didn't really feel the chemistry betweenStretch (Cooper) and sweetheart Mary (Merle Oberon), and having therelationship seem forced for the purpose of the story is never a goodthing.But he was certainly better looking than Walter Brennan. Think aboutit, what was Katie (Patsy Kelly) thinking when she willingly tradedStretch for Sugar (Brennan) on the triple date? On balance, there wasprobably a better looking random trio of cowboys (figuring Fuzzy Knightincluded) at the rodeo the girls might have hooked up with, even withCoop in the mix.You know who the unsung hero of this affair was? How about HarryDavenport as Mary's Uncle Hannibal. That jitterbug routine early in thepicture was a hoot, and he had a few more gems along the way servingcounterpoint to Mary's presidential hopeful father (Henry Kolker). Iwould have liked to see more of him in the story.With 'Home on the Range' repeatedly surfacing in the background, "TheCowboy and the Lady" is a mildly entertaining rework of the richgirl/poor boy theme that fans of Cooper and Oberon will be interestedin seeing. For the rest, be prepared for some slow filler moments whenMr. Stretch does his pantomime routine and utilizes the apron gimmickon Ma Hawkins (Emma Dunn) an annoying six times. To be fair, there isan instructive moment in which I was happy to learn that work horsesare nice people.
The Cowboy and the Lady will never be listed among the top features ofeither Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon's careers, but it has a uniqueplace in Hollywood lore. Supposedly producer Sam Goldwyn came up withthis title and then set about hiring the creative title to fashion astory and then a film from it. Not the usual way the creative processflows even in Tinseltown.Merle is yet another rich girl who's bored living in her mansionbecause politically minded dad, Henry Kolker who's running forpresident. This budding Theodore Roosevelt doesn't want an Alice on hishands, he keeps Merle on a tight leash. Even after she gets busted in anightclub raid with her fun loving uncle Harry Davenport.When two of her maids go out on a double date with a pair of travelingrodeo cowboys, Merle goes along because the cowboys have a third andshe hits the jackpot because the third is Gary Cooper. Of course Merlepretends to be a third maid.Anyone who saw even a couple of thirties screwball comedies knowsexactly how this one is ending up. Director H.C. Potter borrowed ratherliberally from Frank Capra, there are elements of Mister Deeds Goes toTown and It Happened One Night in the story.Still it's a pleasant enough piece of fluff and sure didn't do anyone'scareer any harm who was associated with it. Look for good typecastperformances from Patsy Kelly and Mabel Todd as the maids and WalterBrennan and Fuzzy Knight as Cooper's rodeo buds. They all performstrictly to type.
Though slow moving at times, overall "The Cowboy and the Lady" is anentertaining romantic comedy with a twist, a high society lady whosefather is about to throw his hat into the ring as a candidate forPresident falls head over heels in love with a rodeo cowboy. There aretwo scenes that really pack a comedic wallop. One is aboard the shipfrom Florida to Galveston, Texas, when 'Stretch' Willoughby (GaryCooper) compares horses to people while wooing Mary Smith (MerleOberon) when suddenly a crew member starts singing an outlandish song,"Give a man a horse he can ride." It becomes more outrageous whenStretch joins in and Mary ends the tune with a bass vocal. The other is when Stretch pretends to be entertaining his beloved wife,Mary, in their new house with only the framework completed. Coopershows a hidden talent for pantomime that is very good indeed. Before heknows it his partners played by a bow-legged Walter Brennan and FuzzyKnight along with the carpenters are invited in and play along withStretch's fantasy. The spell is broken with the appearance of MaHawkins who brings everyone back to reality by delivering a dreadfultelegram.There is one telling part near the end when Stretch searching for hiswife appears as an unwanted and unwelcome guest at a political dinner.The big-wigs spout several false concepts and prejudices that existconcerning the American cowboy. Their ignorance is further denoted whenOliver Wendell Henderson attempts to show his knowledge of the west bydeclaring Montana to be the Lone Star State. Stretch carefully correctsHenderson, then proceeds to shoot them all down with his rebuttal.There were several cooks sirring the broth when it came to writing thesometimes witty script. Amongst the writers were Dorothy Parker, LeoMcCarey, Anita Loos, and some say Garson Kanin.
I saw this film as a teenager about 20 years ago,and its alwaysremained one of my favourite romantic films.you can easily get lost inthe beautiful locations this film is set in.The story is a simpleone,with no confusing plot,so you just watch it for the beautifulchemistry between the two stars and the sweet storyline.It shows thatfilms made during this era were far more romantic than that oftoday,they had lots of innocence about them,today they are handled abit to heavily and you cant feel as sensitive towards them.I don'treally think this film dates at all,i think this film can still beabsorbed by a modern audience,as the film is basically about oppositesattract which everyone can relate to .And also the two characters arejust timeless,their different personalities really compliment eachother,i do love this film.
I saw this movie for the first time over 15 years ago. I can remembersitting in my Aunt's bedroom watching this, thinking that it was agreat movie. For years i wondered what it was called because i missedthe title. then one day i found it " THE COWBOY AND THE LADY" I wasthrilled. It only took me 8 years to find the title and now all I hadto do was find the movie.if course on ebay it was about 30 dollars. soi vowed to search and search the dollar store DVD. because that iswhere it is available. and then one night to my surprise TCM played it.I ran through the house like a mad woman looking for a blank tape. Ihave not seen the film since i was 8 or 9 years old and now at 24 Ifinally saw it again...
A lonely socialite (Merle Oberon) is sent by her presidential hopefulfather (Henry Kolker) to Palm Springs to avoid scandal after she'sdiscovered in an illegal gambling joint. The spunky deb convinces hermaids (Patsy Kelly and Mabel Todd) to set her up on a blind date with acowboy (who turns out to be Gary Cooper) from a local rodeo and fallsin love with him. But there's all sorts of bumps in this road to love,and it will take some fixin' for it to prevail.This totally charming comedy is a nice chance to see the usuallyladylike Oberon do some pratfalls and she does so nicely withoutloosing her class. What could be silly is handled with a romanticscript that makes the pairing believable. This has one of the greatsupporting casts, although it is predictable that the less thanglamorous comic supporting actresses will end up with the scragglycharacter actors (Fuzzy Knight and Walter Brennan) while beauty Oberongets hunky Cooper.Emma Dunn is adorable as Cooper's surrogate mother, "Ma Hawkins".There's a nice recurring gag between the two that is affectionate andendearing. Harry Davenport is hysterically funny as Oberon's lovableuncle, her biggest supporter who tries desperately to wake hisone-sided brother (Kolker) up to Oberon's needs over his own, yet isn'tafraid to perform a lively jitterbug. This is one of the rare cases ofopposites attracting on screen that really works, even though Oberon'ssophistication betrays her supposed job as a ladies' maid. Still, she'svery funny in dealing with such poor man's items as a collapsing cotand sticky fly paper.While most of the film is charming and light-hearted, it does turn intoCapra-like corn as Cooper confronts the snobby associates of Oberon'sfather with a list of what the country really needs. This scene istotally faithful to the plot of the film and gives the story somesubstance in addition to amusement.
This one is a real bomb. We are supposed to believe that Merle Oberonis the sequestered daughter of an ambitious politician who must proveto the Tom DeLay of the 1930s that he is worth supporting as apresidential candidate. Poor Merle can't go anywhere, but is surroundedby politicians and their quacking, quaking wives and supported only bykindly uncle Harry Davenport. She joins her two maids on a blind dateand Gary Cooper happens to show up. Some shots of rodeo might haveenlivened things, a la "Misfits," but no such luck with this one. Garylater breaks in to a formal dinner, at which Merle is presiding, and,though invited to sit down and join the group, reads them a lecture ontheir snobbery. Where did this diffident cowboy's sudden eloquence comefrom? The most excruciating scene in the film is a phantom party thatGary holds in his unfinished house for his absent wife, Merle. Will itnever end? One to avoid.
"The Farmer's Daughter" director H.C. Potter's "The Cowboy and theLady" qualifies as a predictable but entertaining lightweight romanticcomedy about a rodeo rider who falls in love with the sheltereddaughter of a wealthy politician. Naturally, Gary Cooper plays thecowboy, while Merle Oberon appears as the lady. Believe it or not, thissimple, contemporary yarn went through three directors and countlessscenarists before Samuel Goldwyn released it. William Wyler startedcalling the shots, but Goldwyn replaced him with H.C. Potter.Unfortunately, Potter couldn't complete filming owing to schedulingdifficulties with his next film, so Goldwyn replaced him with StuartHeisler. "The Cowboy and the Lady" was Heisler's third film to helmafter "The Hurricane" and "Straight from the Shoulder." Later, he wouldwork together with Cooper on two more oaters, "Along Came Jones" (1945)and "Dallas" (1950)."Quo Vadis" scenarists S.N. Behrman and SonyaLevien received credit for the screenplay. Nevertheless, during thetroubled production, no fewer than 13 scribes toiled on the project,including Richard Connell, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker, Anita Loos,and Robert Riskin. The amazing thing about "The Cowboy and the Lady" isthat it works on the level of a sophisticated fairy tale. The gal issearching for a guy and the guy is searching for a gal. He is lookingfor an honest woman, while she is behaving dishonestly so she can landhim. Truly, Potter's film emerges as a guide to dating. Some of thecomments that the women make about men are hilarious. Principally, theyworry about the fragile male ego. This movie shows how a woman can landa man. Usually, it is the other way around, and "The Cowboy and theLady" is as much a delightful comedy as it is a commentary on courtshipin a simpler time. The supporting players contribute significantly tothis saga, with Walter Brennan, Harry Davenport, Fuzzy Knight, andEddie Acuff sticking their necks out in fine fashion."The Cowboy and the Lady" opens with the police raiding a night clubcalled The Silver Bowl where illegal gambling is taking place. When thenewspapers obtain a list of names of those in attendance, they spot thename Mary Smith, but are initially uncertain. Judge Smith has launcheda presidential campaign and he needs the endorsement of a power brokernamed Oliver Wendell Henderson. When he discovers that his daughterMary (Merle Oberon)was questioned during the raid, Judge Smith decidesto send her packing to West Palm Beach so that Henderson won't catch awhiff of a scandal. In Palm Beach, Mary goes crazy with all thesolitude and turns to stacking cards in house configurations. Twomaids, Katie and Elly, are attending to her when she asks them aboutmeeting guys. As it turns out, Katie and Elly plan to go out on a datewith the rodeo riders. Mary persuades them to count her into theirplans. Initially, when they meet the three spruced up cowhands, Marywinds up landing Sugar (Walter Brennan), but she craves Stretch (GaryCooper) and gets him Mary deceives Stretch into believing that she is aperson maid to the lady of the house. Mary explains that she helps hersuperior dress. Our hero and heroine hit it off on the first date and they are prettymuch inseparable after this occasion. Mary has spent her entire life inthe shadows so that her father, the Judge, would look good and winvotes as well as elections. Mary follows Stretch to the boat ready toset a course for Galvaston. During the short trip, Stretch and Maryfall in love and Stretch gets the ship's captain to marry them. Katieand Elly call Mary and warn her that her father and his campaign iscoming to Palm Beach and she is explained to entertain her father'ssupporters. Miraculously, Mary talks Stretch into allowing her to goback home before she relocates with him in Montana. Stretch laborsunder the impression that Mary has struggled to help her alcoholicfather and her four sisters. Stretch admires her, but little doesStretch know that Mary is not in his social class. Eventually, thiscreates trouble for our love birds."The Cowboy and the Lady" boasts a happily ever after ending.
"The Cowboy and the Lady" starring Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon waswritten after Sam Goldwyn thought up the title - so it's the reverse ofthe usual process. It's a 1938 film about a wealthy, sheltered youngwoman (Oberon) whose father is about to announce his candidacy forPresident. One night, she slips out for a night of fun with her uncle(Harry Davenport). When her name is discovered on a list of people whowere in attendance at a club during a raid, she is sent out of town soher father can say she wasn't in town at the time. Since her name isMary Smith, it could easily be another person.While on her vacation, Mary meets a tall, gorgeous hunk of man - acowboy named Stretch Willoughby (Gary Cooper). As any red-blooded womanwould do, she falls for him. It's young Gary Cooper. He's a hottie. Toput them in the same class, she says she's a maid. Before she knows it,she's married to him.The stars are very good in the film, as is Harry Davenport as the unclewith a twinkle in his eye. Cooper and Oberon are darling together -he's so tall and broad-shouldered and she's beautiful and petite, andthey have a nice chemistry. When she first asks him about himself,Stretch answers with Cooper's famous "Yep" several times. Parts of thefilm are a little slow but it's a nice romance. I realize some peoplethink it's a preposterous love story but I can see any woman, rich orpoor, flipping out for Gary Cooper and any guy falling for MerleOberon. They were, after all, two of Hollywood's great beauties.Very enjoyable.
Considering the film has Merle Oberon and Gary Cooper, it couldn't helpbut be watchable...and it certainly was. The problem for me, though, isthat with these actors and a concept that was decent enough, the film'sscript sure didn't do much with this. Instead, it has some nice momentsas well as some lulls.Perhaps it was just too much pawning off the idea of Merle Oberon withher exotic ways and accent as a rich lady in love with Cooper. Whilethe idea of a society lady falling for a cowboy, Oberon just seems toodistant and cold to make it all seem possible. I really think someone alittle more "human" could have made this odd pairing work well. Oberonwas a fine actress but I just don't think she was right for this film.Perhaps it was that once the two fell in love, the film just stagnateduntil near the end. They married and yet the film still had a long wayto go and the middle just seemed like filler at times--particularlyCooper's pantomime sequence inside their new house.Whatever the reason, the film just seemed like an agreeable time-passerand nothing more. Inoffensive and just a tad bland. For a SLIGHTLYbetter variation of this same plot, try seeing the John Wayne and JeanArthur film LADY TAKES A CHANCE--it has better chemistry and is just abetter film in most respects.
The film opens with a dinner scene, where we learn that someone isrunning for office; cut to the two brothers Hannibal (Harry Davenport,always played the kindly uncle or judge) and Horace Smith (HenryKolker), lamenting about the antics of Horace's daughter Mary ( MerleOberon ). There's the setup of the movie, and being filmed in the primeof the Hayes Code, we know there will be comical, but innocent ,simple, misunderstandings. Love the symbolism of Mary knocking over the"house of cards" she has built on the coffee table. Great scene whereshe talks about the rules of dating with the maids (the hilarious PatsyKellly & Mabel Todd). Enter Gary Cooper as the polite cowboy "StretchWilloughby". Say no more. Just watch for the ups and downs as sidekickWalter Brennan makes wisecracks to help the plot along, along with someslapstick physical comedy. Also check out the cast of thousands in thewriter category, which includes greats Anita Loos, Dorothy Parker.Directed by Henry Potter, who would make THREE movies with Cary Grant!Fun, but probably would have been more hilarious if it had been filmedprior to the production code.
Gary Cooper is fantastic in this movie. He is one great actor who gets youlaughing on the floor! This is a really good romantic movie! It makespeople believe that true romance is possible between a man and a woman, evenif they are from very different backgrounds.
I really loved this movie. Merle Oberon, who is not my favoriteactress, was charming as the frustrated daughter of an ambitious,controlling politician. Gary Cooper, handsome as always, was lesswooden than usual, and totally believable, and the supporting playersall handled the witty dialog with ease and pleasure. Suspension ofdisbelief came easily, and although the ending was somewhat hurried, itdid produce the desired amount of tears and surprise. One must rememberwhen this movie was made (when FDR was president,) and the populistmessage manifests itself throughout. The dialog and cinematography wereexcellent, and despite the fact that the action was a bit hokey attimes, both the cowboy and elite milieus were beautifully contrastedand the main characters' emotions sensitively handled.
I watched this movie for the first time on what used to be a greatchannel AMC when I was about 10 years old. At the time, I thought oldmovies were silly especially black and white ones. I had all thestereotypes down and hated westerns most of all. After seeing thismovie I was hooked on old movies, and watched AMC religiously, butnever saw this one again until last year when TCM premiered it on theirchannel.Is it the greatest storyline ever told? Umm,no. I think a lot of peoplemiss an important line to make it seem more plausible. Mary Smith grewup on a farm with her father and uncle until her father decided to getinto politics for whatever reason. She even makes a comment to himearly on that she wished they could go back to those days before sheeven met Stretch. Thus making it more realistic that she wouldn't missthe rich life.The pantomime scene is the best scene and stuck with me for years. Whata man in love will do.
I love this movie for several reasons, the plot, the acting and thebeautiful cinematography. There are beach scenes and others that have adreamlike, gauzy quality that I really love. Gary Cooper is the naive butcute cowboy and Merle as Mary the wealthy socialite who tries to hide itfrom him. She doesn't mean any harm, she's lonely and isolated and findsherself in an awkard situation that gets worse quickly. Don't miss WalterBrennan as his sidekick (as usual) and the other fun characters throughoutthis sweet and fun movie.
A modern fairy-tale in the tradition of Cinderella and Snow White. Thismovie has aged well and should be easily absorbed by today's audience.Whenyou think of it, that is a hallmark of Gary Cooper films. He is theeveryman, the themes are simple and timeless.Cooper is in typically good form in this movie, and so is his beautifulanddelightful co-star Oberon. The film is loaded with humor, romance and atouch of social commentary. A must see for fans of Cooper, Oberon, JimmyStewart or Frank Capra. A perfect "date" movie. One of my most favoritefilms. Hidden gem.
I know that few will agree with me, but I think this may be GaryCooper's finest film.But let me begin with the plot: Mary Smith (Merle Oberon) is a verybored young lady. Bored because all she does in life is support herwidowed father's run for the presidential nomination. She has notprivate life of her own, although she is egged on to get one by herfree-spirited uncle -- Harry Davenport. After anear-accidental-scandal, she heads off to Palm Beach where, on a larkwith her maids, she attends a rodeo, where she falls in love with GaryCooper, one of the cowboys. Because he doesn't care much for societytypes, she pretends to be a lady's maid. But, they quarrel and he headsby boat to the next rodeo in Texas...with her in hot pursuit. On theboat they get married, but Mary knows she has to go back to face themusic and her father...whom Cooper believes is a poor drunkard. Marydelays getting back to the ranch in Montana, so Cooper returns to PalmBeach looking for her, only to interrupt an important political dinner.Realizing Mary's story of being a poor maid, Cooper returns by train tohis ranch, only to find that Mary, her father, and her uncle have flownto the ranch where they demonstrate rather quickly that even the richcan be very down to earth. All live happily ever after.So why do I think this may be Gary Cooper's finest film? Let's see --he accomplishes drama, comedy, pantomime, and romance...all in onepackage. And he's great at all of it. The pantomime segment is aclassic, particularly after he gets a whole bunch of cowboys toparticipate.Except for her extremely high forehead, which always distracts me,Merele Oberon is beautiful here and turns in a fine performance as thelittle rich girl who realizes her true happiness will be a verydifferent life, though her fibs seem to have screwed that all up.The supporting cast here is superb. The highlight is the performance ofone of the screen's great character actors -- Harry Davenport as Mary'suncle. You even get to see him dance and dressed as a cowboy! PatsyKelly and Mabel Todd are fine as the maids. Walter Brennan is on handas a cowpoke and friend, and is -- as always -- a treat. Finally a filmin which I enjoyed the performance of Fuzzy Knight, here as anothercowpoke/pal. Henry Kolker is fine here as Mary's father, and thepresidential hopeful. In fact, for once, he redeems himself in his roleas a stuck-up father.It's difficult to find anything to criticize here. So savor thisdelightful comedy-romance with fine sentimental overtones. Highlyrecommended.
I saw this movie recently on TCM and for the most part, loved it!I liked the shy, bumbling character of "Stretch" and the sheltered,Mary who fell hard for him.Of course, being sheltered, she was limited in her experience with men.But fortunately, she fell hard for a man with character and who lovedher truly.I knew that when she lied and misrepresented herself that she would becaught.I especially loved the night when they married. It was a sweetthrowback to an earlier time when single ladies weren't in single men'srooms at night or any time for that matter! It wasn't proper in 1938.It was very sweet and romantic for Stretch to propose marriage. Hissearch for a wife was over!Here are my slight criticisms:Also, unsure if I can believe that his REAL name was "Stretch".Then, there are the scenes where Mary was at the rodeo cleaning up. Shebecame filthy and her dress was torn as a result.I would think that she could have had her maids send her some clothesor wire her some money so she could purchase some clothes andtoiletries. Or even ask her new husband to purchase her some clothes.There was a scene where she attempted to purchase some pants but wasinterrupted by the phone call. Why didn't she or Stretch purchaseclothing and toiletries for her she before she boarded the bus?Even rich ladies have to bathe and look presentable. A rich lady withher background wouldn't travel on the train for 3 days in a filthy,torn dress and unwashed. Suppose her dad and his friends had ALREADYarrived when she got there? How would she explain her appearance?Also, the scene in the framework of the house lasted a little too long,in my opinion.But other than that: I enjoyed this movie! Gary and Merle were great inthe leads!
Charming, predictable story of "class clash" so popular inDepression-era pictures. With no need to worry about plot, you can justsit back and enjoy the performances.Merle Oberon hits just the right chord as a polished socialite with ahidden practical side and a goofball sense of humor. Her English accentis a trifle thick even for the "everyone rich has an English accent"days, but her physical comedy brings her back down to earth. Sheoutshines everyone else in the film, in my opinion.Gary Cooper plays Gary Cooper as usual, but there were two shots inparticular where I saw thoughts and emotions played that were deeperand more well-rounded than his stock plays (his stock plays being:bashful, strong-n-silent, voice of the working class, and bewildered).The cast is rounded out nicely by some of the better character actorsof the day and the action moves along briskly. As others have noted,there are definite echoes of "It Happened One Night" and "Mr Deeds Goesto Town" as well as "Meet John Doe." All three films are better thanthis one, but "The Cowboy and the Lady" remains unexpectedly sweet andwinning. A lovely bit of fluff!