15 November 2012 | bkoganbing
Claudette Goes West
Texas Lady marked Claudette Colbert's one and only western and I think this RKO film was probably something that they might have had Barbara Stanwyck in mind for. Colbert though she gave a decent performer really is not a western type. I suspect she wanted at least one on her film resume and took Texas Lady which was an inflated B film.
After learning the game of poker for years, Colbert takes Barry Sullivan on and beats him handily. Sullivan, a gentleman riverboat gambler had cleaned out her father who had embezzled money and then lost his ill gotten gains at the poker table and promptly killed himself. After restoring the family honor, Claudette goes to Texas where she's inherited a newspaper.
The paper is the paid for rag of the owners of the local Ponderosa, Ray Collins and Walter Sande. Claudette starts agitating for a railroad spur to come to town. But that will mean less dependency on the cattle barons and new people settling. The plot here has certain similarities to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Claudette also gets some attention from fast draw deputy Gregory Walcott who kills a couple of small ranchers in the service Collins and Sande.
In the meantime Sullivan comes to town as his reputation is shot to all heck on the riverboat scene. Being both southerners to the manor born they find a lot in common.
Texas Lady was a decent enough western, but it looks like it was edited considerably down and a lot of the story doesn't really make sense. And Colbert is just not well cast in westerns. But her fans might like it. It sure is a far cry from the comedies she did in the Thirties and Forties.