Thelma Todd, Gary Cooper and Ernie Adams in Nevada (1927). The film also co-stars William Powell who plays a villainous ranch foreman who sells out his boss to cattle rustlers.
Young Gary Cooper in one of his first lead roles plays, Jim Lacey, A.K.A. Nevada, a gunfighter who goes straight and takes on an army of cattle rustlers. This is slight fare but it is well made and entertaining from start to finish. The pace is quick with few inter-titles, and is easy to follow. Cooper looks gorgeous and is quite effective especially in a few dramatic moments later in the movie. Thelma Todd plays an English woman who starts out as the typical damsel in distress but surprises as she dons gauchos and a cowboy hat and rides out to help save her brother's ranch. In one memorable scene, Nevada ties her to a tree to prevent her from joining the battle. Shortly after that she decides he's the love of her life and picks him over his rival, William Powell. Powell's part is small but memorable. In a few scenes he exhibits a mix of dastardly and charming that is hard to forget. He has that Powell panache at the end when he's arrested and he reaches for a cigar instead of his gun. There is a touch of the cool style that would be his meal ticket in decades to come.
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