Reno (1939)

Approved   |    |  Drama


Reno (1939) Poster

Richard Dix portrays Reno lawyer who helps women get a fast divorce but can he keep his wife (Gail Patrick) from divorcing him.

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5.8/10
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24 February 2001 | Michael-110
6
| A moderately interesting B movie about Reno divorce law practice
"Reno" is a decent B movie about about the life and times of a Nevada divorce lawyer. We first meet William Shear as the proprietor of a Reno gambling casino. Strangely he is found to have a crooked roulette wheel. At his preliminary hearing, we learn his story and ultimately determine why this previously honest and respected casino owner resorted to cheating.

Shear was a Reno lawyer who made a good living litigating mining claims. He turned to representing women who wanted quickie divorces after the miners left. Because the movie industry's production code prevented favorable treatment of divorce, the institution of Nevada divorces is very negatively portrayed. Shear's clients are all greedy, unhappy people and most of them try to seduce Shear even though he is married. The divorce practice and Reno lifestyle take a serious toll on Shear's marriage and his client solicitation tactics get him into deep trouble.

The picture is worth watching as an interesting treatment of the problems of divorce and mining law practice in Reno in the early part of the century. Shear's character is well developed and the competition between Shear and an established Reno attorney is also interesting. The plot contrivances, however, are very creaky and the female roles are shallow and unengaging.

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