The Law of Contact

It Happened Out West (May 2, 1937)

It Happened Out West

Released on May 2, 1937: A New York lawyer goes to Arizona to help a lady ranch owner who is being swindled out of her silver rich ranch land.

Directed by Howard Bretherton

The Actors: Paul Kelly (Richard P. 'Dick' Howe), Judith Allen (Ann Martin), Johnny Arthur (Professor Thad Crookshank), LeRoy Mason (Bert Travis), Lew Kelly (diner counterman), Russell Hicks (Cooley), Henry Otho (henchman Hank), Ted Adams (henchman Tex), Reginald Sheffield (Middleton), Steven Clemente (Pedro), Nina Campana (Maria), Ed Brady (Sheriff), Ben Corbett (Gimpy), Henry Hall (man who points out cafe), Archie Ricks (Red), Bob Woodward (Tom Roberts).


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Thank goodness for strong women. In this cowboy western we watch a gal who inherits her fathers Arizona ranch and tries to transform it into a dairy farm with milking cows instead of beef cattle. All of the men in this movie want her to sell the ranch and go away. All of them. First we have the town banker and the gal's own foreman. They have discovered that there is a rich vein of silver on the ranch. Instead of telling Ann about the silver so she can reap the benefits, they try to convince her that the ranch is worthless so they can buy the ranch cheap and then get wealthy with the silver. Then we have the law firm from New York City. Lawyer Dick Howell is about to go on a well deserved fishing vacation, but the head of the company asks him to intervene with a client in Arizona. This law firm has handled the estate exchange to the daughter when her father died, and they are convinced that she is inexperienced enough that she is running the ranch into the ground. They believe that her best interests would be served if they could convince her to sell the ranch before it becomes totally worthless. So Dick grabs a milquetoast nerdy proffessor who knows a lot about dairy farms and heads west to convince Ann to sell the ranch.

So we have the western dudes trying to get Ann to sell her ranch so that they can get at the rich vein of silver, and we have Dickie and his professor side kick passing themselves off as dairy experts trying to help her, but in fact giving her bad dairy advice so that she will get despondent and sell the ranch. But Ann loves the ranch, and all that it means to her. She grew up on the ranch, and helped her father run it all her life, and it is her passion. Will she get gyped out of her ranch by the crooks who know that there is silver on the land? Will she be convinced by the New York City lawyer to sell the ranch and take the money and run? Will she fall in love with the New York lawyer, but then scorn him when she discovers that he has an agenda set by his boss, and it isn't to help her succeed with the ranch? Will your bowl of buttered white kernel popcorn last till the final kiss? Will we ever have true equality of the sexes? Gosh, I hope not, what would us dumb guys do if we didn't have the gals around to stubbornly do the right thing even though we try with all our might to get them to do something else!