If silent screen star Hope Hampton hoped that The Road To Reno would be a comeback film in sound she would be disappointed. This western setting screwball comedy with Hope as a socialite opera singer trying to get divorced from rancher Randolph Scott is never going to be ranked in the top screwball comedies of the era.
What I was trying to wrap my mind around was the concept of a silent star who was an opera singer. To my mind only Cecil B. DeMille was able to sell that to the public in Geraldine Farrar and he had a woman with a built in public. Hope opens the film singing in a nightclub an aria from La Boheme and then has three other forgettable songs from Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson. Not the top material those two guys ever wrote.
As it goes in The Road To Reno Hope wants to divorce Randy in order to marry the urbane Alan Marshal. But Scott won't let her go and Marshal arrives at the ranch to fight for her. Truth be told she wasn't all that willing to give up Randolph Scott, who would.
Some good supporting performances by Helen Broderick as Scott's aunt and real owner of the ranch which straddles the Nevada/California border, a plot gambit that's used by both leads. Also from Marshal who has a few witty lines and Glenda Farrell over from Warner Brothers to lend a few chosen wisecracks.
But Randolph Scott at least got sit tall in the saddle and would have to wait for My Favorite Wife to be in a good screwball comedy.
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