The Road to Reno (1931)

  |  Drama



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8 August 2010 | AlsExGal
| Lilyan Tashman is a habitual divorcée ...
... in this great little drama with comic touches that has every precode element thrown into it but the kitchen sink. That's only because nobody goes near the kitchen in this film - they're either at the bar or in the boudoir. Lilyan Tashman is perfect as Jackie, the perpetually adolescent mother of two grown children - daughter Lee and son Jeff - who are in their early 20's. In spite of the fact that fourth husband Robert (Irving Prichel) is a good provider, good step-dad, and all-around good sport about Jackie's rather wild ways, Jackie is intent on divorcing him although she seems to bear the man no resentment. It just seems that her only reason is that it's time for a change, much like an impulse to buy a new hat. Both children are upset about her decision since they have great affection for Robert. However, daughter Lee has just arrived home from school and decides to accompany her mother to Reno to look after her. On the train west, Lee meets a young mining engineer, Tom(Charles Buddy Rogers), who is headed to a job interview in California. The two hit it off and a romance buds. Tom says goodbye at the stop for Reno and vows to write to Lee while she and her mother wait the necessary six weeks for the divorce. When Tom can't contact Lee he goes out to Reno to see her in person and what he finds shocks him. I'll let you watch and find out what he finds and what happens.

Like I said in the beginning, this precode has everything. Unrelated to the main characters there are shots of the Reno nightlife, a good rendition of the Reno divorce machine as it grinds out 50 plus divorces a day,one divorcée complaining about her husband refusing to pay for the correspondent, another divorcée declaring she is free, chucking her wedding ring in a stream, and immediately dragging the man she has with her into the marriage license bureau to start anew. There's also the suicide of a newly divorced woman on the stairway of an exclusive hotel with the clerk declaring how inconsiderate some people can be.

Definitely recommended for precode fans and definitely for fans of Lilyan Tashman.

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Release Date:

26 September 1931



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