Kit Madden is traveling to Hollywood, where her best-selling novel is to be filmed. Aboard the train, she encounters Marines Rusty and Dink, who don't know she is the author of the famous ...
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Kit Madden is traveling to Hollywood, where her best-selling novel is to be filmed. Aboard the train, she encounters Marines Rusty and Dink, who don't know she is the author of the famous book, and who don't think much of the ideas it proposes. She and Rusty are greatly attracted, but she doesn't know how to deal with his disdain for the book's author. Written by
Jim Beaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The opening shot shows "Arrowhead" Pictures motion picture studio. This is the actual RKO Pictures Studio Building at 780 Gower Street in Hollywood, retouched with "Arrowhead" replacing the RKO signs on the building. It remains a historic structure on the corner to this day. See more »
Just before Louella Parsons is seen in the radio studio, an exterior shot shows a building with the name NBC, but when Parsons is at the mic, it is marked ABC. See more »
Have you heard of some fellas, who first came over to this country? You know what they found? They found a howling wilderness, with summers to hot, and winters freezing. Did they have insurance for their old age, for their crops, for their homes? They did not. They looked at the land and the forest and the rivers they looked at their wives, their kids, and their houses. Then they looked up at the sky and said thanks God, we'll take it from here. They were men!
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Here's an interesting piece of movie trivia for you. What special significance has Claudette Colbert as a leading lady for John Wayne? Answer; she's the last player male or female to be billed above John Wayne in any film. Other than in cameo or guest appearances, the Duke took top billing in every single film he made after Without Reservations.
But I suppose it is just that Claudette take top billing here because in many ways this bears a lot similarity to her Oscar winning role in It Happened One Night. Only oddly enough she's really in the Clark Gable part.
If you remember Gable was the newspaperman down on his luck who spots runaway heiress Colbert in Florida and sticks to her to get the big exclusive story when she's found. Here it's Colbert doing the sticking to Wayne.
Colbert plays Christopher Madden an author who has written a big post World War II best seller. It's getting as much attention as Gone With the Wind back in the day. She's taking a transcontinental train trip to Hollywood where Cary Grant and Lana Turner are scheduled to star in a film adaption of her book. Grant pulls out at the last minute and while boarding the train trip Colbert catches sight of John Wayne in Marine uniform and thinks he should be the unknown who plays the hero of her book.
Wayne may look the part, but he's got views distinctly different from what Colbert wrote in her novel. Circumstances however force the both of them with Wayne's pal Don DeFore to leave the train in Chicago and they have to make their way west just as Gable and Colbert had to make their way north in It Happened One Night.
Oh, and Wayne and DeFore do not know their companion is a celebrity author in the same Colbert did not know Gable was a newspaperman and on to her identity.
Without Reservations is a nice comedy, the last one that Wayne would do in modern times. Comedies that he later did like North to Alaska, Donovan's Reef and McLintock had considerably less sophistication than this one did.
Still like McLintock, Wayne gets to expound on some of his personal philosophy of rugged individualism as being what made America great. In response to the liberal hero of Colbert's book, Wayne has a very eloquent scene in talking about our pioneer heritage about people with all that was against them in a savage wilderness, just being grateful for the opportunity to make it on their own. Without Reservations may in fact be the first film where some of his own personal philosophy gets written into it.
Stealing every scene she's in is Anne Triola who is one of the people the trio meets on the train and later Wayne and DeFore find being a waitress in San Diego. She had such a limited film career, this should have been a breakthrough role for her.
Louella Parsons, Cary Grant, Jack Benny, and Dolores Moran have some brief walk-ons playing themselves. Without Reservations marks the only film any of them ever did with John Wayne. I only wish Cary's bit had been in a scene with Wayne.
These kinds of comedy are what made Claudette Colbert's career. But it was nice to see John Wayne doing one as well. Though some fans of the Duke might regret he does not throw a punch or fire a weapon in this at all.
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