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The Cowboy and the Blonde

The Cowboy and the Blonde(1941)


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Rodeo champion Lank Garrett travels to Hollywood with his pal Skeeter and horse "Ethyl" at the request of Consolidated Pictures owner Phineas Johnson, a businessman who does not know much about movie making. Producer Gilbert and casting director Gregory are upset at having to deal with another of Johnson's "discoveries," but they first have to tend to the lot's star actress, Crystal Wayne, as she throws yet another temper tantrum. Johnson, who found Crystal a few years earlier when she was working as a nurse, calms his top moneymaker with promises of a new leading man, then greets Lank, telling him to report for a screen test. While wandering around the lot, Lank runs afoul of Crystal, who is insensed that the cowboy does not know who she is. His good looks and sincerity win her over though, and she asks him to teach her to ride. Crystal, who is actually an expert rider, plays up to Lank, and the two fall in love as they spend more time together. Everyone at the studio is amazed as Crystal becomes less tempermental and more easygoing, and Gilbert and Gregory realize that Lank is the catalyst for her transformation. Lank's screen tests are a disaster, however, as he is put into costumes and situations not suited to him. Johnson grows discouraged, but Gilbert and Gregory convince him that Lank has potential and put him under contract, even though they are only doing it to keep him on the lot where he can keep Crystal happy. One afternoon, Johnson orders Lank to test with Crystal in a western setting, and although the test shows Lank to be a good actor when he is in natural surroundings, the sweethearts inadvertantly reveal their feelings for each other when they do not realize they are being filmed. Johnson, who is in love with Crystal himself, is stunned, for when he had told Crystal to be nice to Lank, he did not think that he would lose her to the cowboy. Lank is shocked himself upon hearing some chorus girls discussing the fact that he is being kept on the lot to soothe Crystal, and he abruptly returns to his ranch in Gila Valley, New Mexico. Crystal leaves the studio in search of Lank, and soon the publicity that she is missing sweeps through the country. When Crystal finds Lank, he is reluctant to believe that she really loves him, but she convinces him. Their newly found happiness is ruptured though, when Johnson appears with newsreel cameras to cash in on the publicity and to team them in a new film. Believing that it was all a scheme on Crystal's part, Lank orders her off his property. Back at the studio, Crystal soon returns to her former tempermental nature, and Johnson convinces her to go with him to New York. Skeeter, upon hearing a radio announcement that wedding bells might be in the future for the studio owner and his star, decides that he must bring Crystal and Lank back together. Meeting Crystal's plane as it stops to refuel in Albuquerque, Skeeter tells Crystal that Lank is suffering from a serious infection and may lose a leg. Crystal rushes to the ranch, where she and Lank figure out Skeeter's scheme, but quickly forgive him as they make up.