6.5/10
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A Lady Takes a Chance (1943)

Passed | | Comedy, Romance, Western | 19 August 1943 (USA)
A city girl on a bus tour of the West encounters a handsome rodeo cowboy who helps her forget her simpy city suitors.

Director:

William A. Seiter

Writers:

Robert Ardrey (screenplay), Jo Swerling (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Arthur ... Molly J. Truesdale
John Wayne ... Duke Hudkins
Charles Winninger ... Waco
Phil Silvers ... Smiley Lambert
Mary Field ... Florrie Bendix
Don Costello ... Drunk
John Philliber John Philliber ... Storekeeper
Grady Sutton ... Malcolm Scott
Jean Stevens Jean Stevens ... 'Jitterbug' (as Peggy Carroll)
Grant Withers ... Bob Hastings
Hans Conried ... Gregg Stone
Ariel Heath ... Flossie
Sugar Geise Sugar Geise ... Linda Belle
Joan Blair Joan Blair ... Lilly
Tom Fadden ... Mullen
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Storyline

A New York bank clerk,Mollie Truesdale (Jean Arthur), in the late 1930s, finds that her cherished dream of making a 17-day all-expenses-paid bus trip to the Pacific Coast and back, isn't all she thought it would be...until she reaches Oregon and a bucking broncho tosses a rodeo performer on top of her and knocks her flat. Duke Hudkins (John Wayne), by way of apology, shows her the sights of Fairfield, Oregon, and she misses her bus, quarrels with the bewildered Duke, hitchhikes across a lot of desert...and a romance is born. Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IT'S SCREWY...And So Funny! IT'S RIOTOUS...And Romantic! (1950 reissue poster) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 August 1943 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Cowboy and the Girl See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Frank Ross Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Although his character in A Lady Takes a Chance is named Duke Hudkins, actor John Wayne got his nickname "The Duke" long before. In his early teens living in Glendale, California, Wayne had a dog named Duke. They were so inseparable that family and friends called them Little Duke and Big Duke. For Wayne, who soon entered high school theatrical productions, the name stuck. See more »

Quotes

Waco: Love is the best thing there is, I guess, but you're barking up the wrong cowboy.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Hist-o-Rama: John Wayne (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Swingin' at the Cotton Club
Written by Bob Bell
Performed by The Three Peppers
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sweet, funny, charming
2 September 2003 | by jennifbebeSee all my reviews

I won't bother to rehash the plot details, as others have already done so, but simply wish to express how much I enjoyed this film. It was a real treat from start to finish - slightly offbeat & definitely funny (but not goofy enough to be screwball) and sweet & romantic but not sentimental enough to be sappy.

Director William A. Seiter (who helmed "Sons of the Desert", Laurel & Hardy's best film, as well as other successful comedies) takes what is perhaps a shopworn premise and turns it into something special with the help of two extremely capable stars. John Wayne reveals his often underrated talent for light comedy in this - coming across just as masculine as always but with a sweet, funny softness that makes his Duke Hudkins extremely endearing. Jean Arthur is in a familiar role, playing a quirky but sweet city girl (Molly J. Truesdale) with just the right amount of spunk. Note her unconsciously forward behavior when the two of them first meet - wow! They are surprisingly wonderful together - watch the gentle, tender way the scene in the hay is handled. And never once did I feel like Jean Arthur faded to the background in Duke's presence. (In quite a few of his films, he is so charismatic and powerful a presence that his leading lady winds up looking about as charismatic as wilted celery.)

There are some funny scenes involving long bus rides, cold desert nights, sneezing horses, rodeo "groupies," bucking broncos, and broken cameras. The supporting cast is great, but they haven't much to do as this is really a film about a boy and a girl. Sharp-eyed fans of Gene Kelly and/or Frank Sinatra will recognize Grady Sutton from "Anchors Aweigh" as one of Molly's unspeakably drab beaux.


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