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A Lady Takes A Chance

A Lady Takes A Chance

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A Lady Takes A Chance, 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.

Rodeo Kind of Guy and A New Yorker Type of Gal

A Lady Takes A Chance, This frivolous but entertaining romantic comedy pairs Jean Arthur with John Wayne. She is a Gotham native about to embark on a bus tour of the Wild West that her guide assures her will be “fourteen breathless days of romance and adventure.” Tour guide Smiley Lambert (Phil Silvers) has no idea how prophet he is with his prediction. Native New Yorker Mollie J. Truesdale (Jean Arthur of “Only Angels Have Wings”) cannot leave the Big Apple without her jealous suitors bidding her good bye. They consist of Gregg Stone (Hans Conried), Bob Hastings (Grant Withers), and Malcolm (Grady Sutton), and they hate to see her depart for the wide, open spaces. The bus pulls into the Fairfield, Oregan, rodeo, and Mollie decides to watch these antics. She decides to snap a picture and has to go to the edge of the arena to shoot it. As it turns out, she gets too close to the edge, and one of the rodeo cowboys, Duke Hudkins (John Wayne of “The Big Trail”), is hurled into the stands and lands atop Mollie. This is about as spontaneous as “A Lady Takes A Chance” gets. These two decide to date each other, and they have a fairly good time. Mind you, Duke has no plans to get hitched. True to the sure-fire formula, the good feelings that brought Duke and Mollie together slacken after she deprives her cowboy boyfriend’s horse of a blanket. Basically, this is guy meets gal, guy loses gal, and guy wins gal back. Altogether, “A Lady Takes A Chance” is disposable but lightweight fun. John Wayne delivers one of his better performances as a wandering rodeo star.

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