A LADY TAKES A CHANCE stars Jean Arthur as Molly Truesdale, a young and hip Eastern American woman tired of all her suitors. To escape from them for a spell, she takes a bus-tour west to see America. While out west she literally bumps into Duke Hudkins (John Wayne) at a rodeo. They end up spending the rest of the day together and most of the evening and Molly ends up missing her bus. Duke takes her to the city where she can catch it for the ride home.
Though this is a pretty typical boy-meets-girl movie, there are a lot of elequant touches that make it stand out above the rest. Besides, it's enjoyable watching the Duke play a role so different from the ones he was to become famous for. Jean Arthur is just adorable and makes a grand lady that is at first pursued, but then becomes the pursuer. As a bonus, Phil Silvers has a small role as the bus tour guide. Not only will Wayne fans and oldies fans like this movie, but it makes for a great date picture.
Molly Trousdale (Jean Arthur) is a big city girl with an awful lot going for her. She evidently had a pretty good job and three guys (Malcom, Greg and Bob) vying for her affections. But for Molly something is definitely missing. Maybe that is why she has decided to embark on a two week vacation out West. The poster at the bus station in her hometown of New York City promises "Romance and Adventure: 14 Breathless Days In the West". And all … more
A Lady Takes a Chance is probably the best American romantic comedy of the '40s that hardly anyone knew about--at least, in the last three or four decades of the 20th century. That's chiefly because, as a semi-independent production mounted for Jean Arthur by her husband, Frank Ross, the movie couldn't claim a place in any studio archive (It's a Wonderful Lifewas long neglected for similar reasons). So this lovely gem is ripe for rediscovery, not only for Arthur at her most enchantingly distracted, as a New York gal on a bus tour of the modern Wild West, but also for John Wayne's sly sexiness as the rodeo rider who literally falls into her lap. James Agee, no less, approvingly noted that "Wayne suggests how sensational he might be in a sufficiently evil story about a Reno gigolo."Ladyisn't evil, but it's surely a delight.--Richard T. Jameson