6.7/10
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28 user 9 critic

The Cowboy and the Lady (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 17 November 1938 (USA)
A lonely socialite masquerades as a maid and meets an unpretentious, plain-spoken cowboy who is unaware of her true identity.

Directors:

H.C. Potter (as H. C. Potter), Stuart Heisler (uncredited) | 1 more credit »

Writers:

S.N. Behrman (screen play), Sonya Levien (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Gary Cooper ... Stretch
Merle Oberon ... Mary Smith
Patsy Kelly ... Katie Callahan
Walter Brennan ... Sugar
Fuzzy Knight ... Buzz
Mabel Todd ... Elly
Henry Kolker ... Horace Smith
Harry Davenport ... Uncle Hannibal Smith
Emma Dunn ... Ma Hawkins
Walter Walker Walter Walker ... Ames
Berton Churchill ... Henderson
Charles Richman ... Dillon
Frederick Vogeding Frederick Vogeding ... Captain
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Storyline

Poor Mary Smith can't go night-clubbing or have any other fun because any hint of scandal could damage her father's 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 she's 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. Written by <dbubbeo@cmp.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

YOU'LL BE CARRIED AWAY! with this gay...scintillating rodeo of love, action and fun! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 November 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El vaquero y la dama See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original writer, Leo McCarey, declined Samuel Goldwyn's offer to direct. William Wyler then began as director of the film, but walked off the set after an argument with Goldwyn about the extensive retakes Goldwyn demanded. Goldwyn suspended Wyler, who did not return as director on the film. However, he and Goldwyn eventually settled their differences, and Wyler directed Goldwyn's next film, Wuthering Heights (1939). H.C. Potter was brought in to replace Wyler, but production and script problems resulted in the film going way over schedule, and Potter had to leave before the film was finished due to his commitment to direct The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939). Editor Stuart Heisler was brought in to finish directing the film. See more »

Goofs

During the initial blind date between the girls and the rodeo cowboys, they take a walk along the beach. Upon entering the gate to the house, the sound of a ukulele being played is heard, but Buzz (the ukulele player) is holding the ukulele in one hand, not playing it. See more »

Quotes

Sugar: Hey, you don't suppose she married him for his money, do you?
Buzz: What money?
Sugar: Well, he got a job, ain't he?
Buzz: Yeah, I never thought of that.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Home on the Range
(1904) (uncredited)
Music by Daniel E. Kelley (1904)
Lyrics by Brewster M. Higley (1873)
Sung by cowboys in the restaurant
Reprised near the end
Played also in the score
See more »

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User Reviews

 
First The Title, Then The Story
4 February 2007 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The Cowboy and the Lady will never be listed among the top features of either Gary Cooper and Merle Oberon's careers, but it has a unique place in Hollywood lore. Supposedly producer Sam Goldwyn came up with this title and then set about hiring the creative title to fashion a story and then a film from it. Not the usual way the creative process flows even in Tinseltown.

Merle is yet another rich girl who's bored living in her mansion because politically minded dad, Henry Kolker who's running for president. This budding Theodore Roosevelt doesn't want an Alice on his hands, he keeps Merle on a tight leash. Even after she gets busted in a nightclub raid with her fun loving uncle Harry Davenport.

When two of her maids go out on a double date with a pair of traveling rodeo cowboys, Merle goes along because the cowboys have a third and she hits the jackpot because the third is Gary Cooper. Of course Merle pretends to be a third maid.

Anyone who saw even a couple of thirties screwball comedies knows exactly how this one is ending up. Director H.C. Potter borrowed rather liberally from Frank Capra, there are elements of Mister Deeds Goes to Town and It Happened One Night in the story.

Still it's a pleasant enough piece of fluff and sure didn't do anyone's career any harm who was associated with it. Look for good typecast performances from Patsy Kelly and Mabel Todd as the maids and Walter Brennan and Fuzzy Knight as Cooper's rodeo buds. They all perform strictly to type.


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