THE TEXAN. Paramount, 1930. Gary Cooper, Fay Wray, Emma Dunn, Oscar Apfel, James Marcus. Based on the story “The Double-Dyed Deceiver” by O. Henry. Director: John Cromwell. Shown at Cinecon 44, Hollywood CA, Aug-Sept 2008.

THE TEXAN Gary Cooper

   Another film from the vaults that has probably not been seen since its initial release. Gary Cooper plays the Llano Kid, an outlaw with a price on his head, who falls in with a crooked lawyer who persuades him to join him in a scam to rob a South American widow by persuading her that the Kid is her long-lost son, returning to his mother after years of wandering.

   The plan goes well until the Kid develops a conscience and wants to back out of the agreement. Emma Dunn plays the mother, Senora Ibarra, with Fay Wray her niece, with whom the Kid, predictably, falls in love.

   There’s a nice O. Henry twist to resolve the story (no, the Kid does not turn out to be the son) and it’s a good-looking production that lets the characters and their relationships build slowly before the action-packed climax.

Editorial Comment:   The cover illustration based on the film, shown above, was done by Norman Rockwell. The original painting recently sold at Sotheby’s for nearly six million dollars.