The Cowboy and the Lady (Potter, 1938)
The Cowboy and the Lady is likely responsible for many of the romantic comedies we have today. The plot is all too familiar; a man and a woman start a relationship where one of them has lied about their life, the other finds out, and after a brief moment of turmoil the two decide they still love each other and all is well. I can’t fault Potter for this, though, as he had no way of knowing how badly this would be overused and butchered in the future. Though I do admit it was a little hard not to feel like the story was a tiny bit cheapened.
It’s the execution that matters though, and that was splendid. Gary Cooper plays the innocent cowboy, looking for a wife with a selfless attitude and a caring heart. When he meets a woman who he thinks matches these ideals, the two begin a fantastic relationship. Despite being the daughter of a judge seeking the presidential nomination, she is in awe of this cowboy, feeling safer and more hopeful than ever. And despite not knowing who she actually is, he recognizes her heart for love and determination to be by his side. The film is chock-full of funny moments that radiate sweet innocence. I seriously felt like I was smiling the whole time. And the conclusion – the way it approaches and unfolds – is absolutely perfect for this film. 8.75/10