27 May 2018 | AlsExGal
Two drifters find each other in this early talkie drama
Lots of people may watch this and believe it is about two people from different worlds finding each other and the problems they encounter when the honeymoon is over. I think it is more than that.
The story starts with wealthy beautiful slacker heiress Kay Dowling (Carole Lombard) being seen in a public place with a married man (Oh the horror!). The wife is threatening divorce and naming Kay as co-respondent. Kay says big deal, but dad says she needs to either marry her forever fiancé or go out west to dad's ranch in Wyoming until things simmer down or he will disinherit her. So off she goes to the ranch - you get the feeling that forever fiancé is putting her feet to sleep. While out west she meets cow hand Tom McNair (Gary Cooper). He makes her feel foolish a couple of times - like a city slicker which is what she is, and so she decides to make him feel foolish by getting him to fall in love with her. It works, but she falls in love too. They hastily marry, but Kay finds she is quickly not only a fish out of water, but on another planet.
Her wedding gift from Tom's fellow cowhands is a stuffed deer head. Tom can't stay on as a cow hand and just sleep in the bunkhouse, so he gets a run down one room cabin as a house for the two, and begins ranching. All the money has to go to the cattle, so there are no extras. But worse, there is the horrible isolation of the Wyoming winters. When she arrived, Kay was there during the three months out of the year they have good weather. She wants to pack it in and go back home, but a neighbor lady in whom she confides says industry does not come easy to Tom, and that unless he has somebody besides himself to work for, he will just walk away from his ranch and go back to being a cowpoke.
So it turns out these two have more in common than you would first think - they are both drifting through life in their own way unless something bigger than themselves wills them forward. How does this turn out? Watch and find out.
Lombard and Cooper gave great rather understated performances. They were quite good at expressing a range of emotions without a great deal of dialogue. The one real question mark in the cast is the part of Kay's dad. He never seems to step out from behind his desk, never has a tender word for his daughter though she is his only child, and seems to only care that she is not a headline with no thought to her happiness.
I'd definitely recommend it as one of the better made and acted early talkies.