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A Lady Takes a Chance

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Wayne, Jean Arthur. Opposites attract in this romantic comedy about a pretty urban sophisticate who is charmed by a rough and ready rodeo hero she meets while traveling through the West. 1943/b&w/86 min/NR/fullscreen.

Amazon.com

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 Life was 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." Lady isn't evil, but it's surely a delight. --Richard T. Jameson

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jean Arthur, John Wayne, Charles Winninger, Phil Silvers, Mary Field
  • Directors: William A. Seiter
  • Writers: Garson Kanin, Jo Swerling, Robert Ardrey
  • Producers: Dick Ross, Frank Ross
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Republic Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: January 21, 2003
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00007JZXL
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,108 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Lady Takes a Chance" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin J Burgraff VINE VOICE on November 17, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Jean Arthur sparkles in this wartime comedy, as Molly Truesdale, a sweet, pretty salesgirl overwhelmed by 3 overzealous suitors! To get some peace and quiet, she takes a bus tour out west, a trip that sounded romantic in the travel brochures, but grows tedious, after monotonous days pass, and she has to fend off passes by the tour guide (Phil Silvers, in one of his many terrific comic relief roles of the '40s)!
Truesdale finally decides to combat her 'cabin fever' on the bus by attending a rodeo. She has a wonderful time, until one of the contestants literally falls into her lap! As the two disentangle themselves, she gets a good look at Duke Hudkins (John Wayne), and it's love at first sight!
Duke is the suitor she'd always dreamed of; handsome, virile, and 'all-man', and she begins a pursuit of the cowboy that is both uncharacteristic for her, and confusing for him! Despite warnings from his best friend, Waco (Charles Winninger) that this girl was after more than just a night of partying and passion, Duke invites Molly out, and the innocent city girl experiences her first evening of carousing! When, at evening's end, she puts the brakes on his amorous advances, he discovers she's not just another 'groupie', and that he's falling in love with her, too...nearly as much as he loves his horse!
A romantic comedy of 'opposites' finding true love, 'A Lady Takes a Chance' benefits from the delightful performances of the two leads! Jean Arthur had a Meg Ryan-like quality of projecting both innocence and sexiness, and she makes Molly's transition from 'pursued' to 'pursuer' both believable, and understandable!
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 2, 2004
Format: DVD
An unusual wartime comedy-romance, starring the ever-delectable Jean Arthur as a big-city girl who takes a bus tour out West to see some of the world, and gets a real eyeful when she hooks up with John Wayne, a lanky, laconic cowboy who's rambling around on the rodeo circuit. The script is fairly minimal, and many scenes even seem improvised, but what's remarkable is the underlying sexual frankness of the film -- the two meet by accident, and are inexorably drawn together by sheer sexual chemistry. When they finally give in and go out on a real date, they have nothing to say to each other -- the attraction is purely physical. Certain scenes, such as when he invites her up to his hotel room, offers her a drink, and bed to bunk in, are surprisingly raw, at least for the time. Arthur and Wayne also seem to have chemistry together -- in fact, this is the only film in which I've seen him play opposite a gal when the sizzle seemed real... It's a funny film with an offbeat sense of humor, one that's worth seeing particularly if your a fan of Jean Arthur's work... She's about as cute as ever in this one!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Kardius on November 18, 2005
Format: DVD
This is far from Jean Arthur's classic comedies of the late 1930s and the early 40s, but she's as charming as ever. John Wayne is also surprisingly good as the romantic leading man, but the film is a showcase for Jean Arthur's talents from beginning to end (it was produced by her husband).

The DVD, however, is terrible. Its watchable, but you feel like you're watching the film on 1980s VHS, late night TV or one of those cheap public domain DVDs. The image is very soft, there are visible scratches and the sound is very bad. Still, I doubt that Criterion will ever pick a film like this one, so if you like 1940s romantic comedies, and Jean Arthur in particular, you should "take a chance" on this one.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2004
Format: VHS Tape
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Russell A. Becker on February 23, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I am a BIG John Wayne fan. I was surprised at how good it was. It is not your "normal" Wayne movie. In this one Jean Arth;ur plays the part of Molly Trousdale. She sets out from New York on a cross-country bus tour, because she wants to see America. When she gets out West she runs into Duke Hutkins (John Wayne), who is competing in a rodeo. Duke assumes she's just another pretty girl who wants to be with a rodeo star. But she is a lady who won't be roped easly. They keep meeting throughout the rest of the movie, with Duke following her to New York, (where she has three other men who love her), to win her back and takes her back out west. Needless to say, I liked the movie and give it 4 stars.

Russ
Posted 02/23/2008
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