Add a Review

  • In "Maisie Goes to Reno," our usually effervescent Maisie is burnt out working in a wartime factory and is sent on a vacation by her doctor. She accepts an offer to sing with her old band in Reno and relax by day but finds that in order to get there, she has to buy the ticket of a woman who's decided not to go. A soldier sees the transaction and begs Maisie to help him. Initially, he wants her ticket but when an MP informs him that his unit has been called in, he asks Maisie to take a note to his soon to be ex-wife in order to stop the divorce.

    In Reno, Maisie discovers that the man's wife (Ava Gardner) is being duped by two con artists into believing her husband just wants her money. Maisie herself becomes involved with an employee in the hotel casino (John Hodiak).

    Sothern does a fun rendition of "Panhandle Pete," Gardner is ravishing, and John Hodiak was never handsomer. Most of the "Maisie" series was pleasant without being overwhelming, though perhaps some of the earlier films were better. This one is okay, worth it to see Gardner and Hodiak in early roles - and of course, the always wonderful Sothern.
  • bkoganbing19 November 2010
    Maisie Goes To Reno finds Ann Sothern initially being Rosie the Riveteer at a defense plant. But when she starts getting snappish with her fellow workers and develops a nervous wink that other people throughout the film keep misinterpreting she gets on doctor's order a two week paid vacation in Reno. Salary and a chance to sing at night with Chick Chandler's Orchestra at one of the casinos.

    Right there was a problem and I'm sure audiences must have vigorously scratched their heads and wondered how they could get to work in Maisie's factory. Some doctor might have prescribed a rest period, but a vacation with salary, that was just plain ridiculous for all the Rosies in the audience.

    But on the way she gets involved with a young soldier Tom Drake who is on his way to Reno to divorce his wife. However Drake gets orders to go to his new camp and his leave is canceled. He gives Sothern a letter to deliver to the wife pleading for a second chance.

    Maisie does as she's asked, but when she delivers the letter to Marta Linden she soon after smells a rat. In fact there are three rats in the picture. But no one wants to believe her. All I can say is that Paul Cavanaugh, Linden, and Bernard Nedell have a very interesting scheme afoot.

    John Hodiak is also in the film, but he's thoroughly wasted in the part of a casino croupier who befriends Sothern. He was an up and coming player just as Tom Drake was with MGM at the time. Neither had the career of top stardom although both later turned in some really good performances.

    However this was a film that also showcased Ava Gardner whose role I won't mention because that would give things away. She and Ann Sothern singing a nice rendition of Panhandle Pete are the best things that Maisie Goes To Reno has going.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Director: HARRY BEAUMONT. Screenplay: Mary C. McCall Jr. Story: Harry Ruby and James O'Hanlon. Based on the character created by Wilson Collison. Uncredited screenplay contributors: Harry Clork, Howard Emmett Rogers. Photography: Robert Planck. Film editor: Frank E. Hull. Art directors: Cedric Gibbons, Howard Campbell. Set decorators: Edwin B. Willis, Helen Conway. Music: David Snell. Songs by Ralph Freed and Sammy Fain. "Panhandle Pete" number choreographed by Sammy Lee. Additional photography: William Daniels. Unit manager: Hugh Boswell. Assistant director: Charles O'Malley. Sound supervisor: Douglas Shearer. Western Electric Sound System. Producer: George Haight.

    Copyright 20 July 1944 by Loew's Inc. A Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture. New York opening at Loew's State: 28 September 1944. U.S. release: September 1944. U.K. release: November-December 1944. Australian release: 22 February 1945. 9 reels. 8,069 feet. 90 minutes. U.K. release title: YOU CAN'T DO THAT TO ME.

    SYNOPSIS: Maisie goes to Reno? Before seeing the picture, we presumed she was dying to get a divorce from the schnook she married in Ringside Maisie. No? What's she doing in Reno, then? Oh, I see. She's taking a well-earned rest from that super-boring airplane factory job featured in Swing Shift Maisie.

    NOTES: The 8th of the nine Maisie pictures.

    COMMENT: Needless to say, this entry, the best of the Maisie pictures was also one of the least popular with audiences. The cast is great. John Hodiak who had a small role in the previous entry has a different part in this one, but it's the lead. Hodiak was always one of my favorite actors. Rejected by the armed services because of the hypertension that eventually led to his fatal heart attack, Hodiak always invested his performances with an appealing intensity. A sort of middle-class equivalent of John Garfield's firmly working- class protagonist, Hodiak always gave the impression of playing on the edge. He always invested his characters with depth — no matter how superficially they may have been written.

    And of course there's Ava Gardner, definitely Hollywood's top siren as far as I'm concerned. You can keep your blonde pin-up girls. Ava Gardner, like Simone Simon and Ingrid Bergman, always projected class, with a capital "C". Admittedly, her role is small, but vital. She plays it with total conviction and looks most attractive too. (Maybe William Daniels photographed her scenes?)

    I could go through the rest of the cast, ticking through the performers one by one, but I'll content myself with praising Byron Foulger. Always a number one character player with me since I first caught him as Professor Henderson in the Universal serial, "The Master Key". In fact for years, not knowing his real name, I used to call him, Professor Henderson. Here Foulger gives us a comic near- sighted psychiatrist, a delicious impersonation that raises more laughs in ten minutes than Miss Sothern contrives in the entire picture.

    As for the director, Harry Beaumont, a neglected master if ever there was one. You don't agree with me? I appeal to Orson Welles. Isn't Harry Beaumont one of the greatest? Orson fidgets. He knows what I'm getting at. But he's eventually forced to admit that he greatly admired Beaumont's handling of the courtroom scene in this movie. So much so that he imitated it, throwing in a few more tricks for "The Lady from Shanghai".

    But these are not the only terrific moments in Maisie Goes to Reno. With a plot fashioned by Harry "Three Little Words" Ruby and James "Calamity Jane" O'Hanlon, we know to expect the delightfully unexpected. For instance, what about that running gag with the little black dog? And what about the delightful "Panhandle Pete" number? And how about the usually meek Donald Meek as a wonderfully grouchy manager with no warmth in his testy heart at all?

    Production values with their big crowd scenes at the bus depot, the hotel and the court-room are mighty impressive. Only Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer could dress up a "B" movie with such style and finesse.
  • Overworked and exhausted, Maisie (Ann Sothern) heads to Reno on a vacation. She meets a soldier on the way and hears his sob story. Once in Reno she tries to find the soldier's rich wife (Ava Gardner) to stop her from divorcing him. This proves to be more difficult than it seems and Maisie winds up investigating a plot to steal the wife's fortune. But there's always time for romance and Maisie's love interest this time is a blackjack dealer (John Hodiak).

    Enjoyable eighth entry in the Maisie series. Ann Sothern's adorable as ever. She even gets to sing a song: "Panhandle Pete." Early role for Ava Gardner, who's very pretty but gets nothing to do. The running gag throughout the picture is that Maisie has developed a nervous tick from overworking and all the men think she's winking at them. It's a funny bit that never gets old, especially with the cute way Sothern sells it. A fun movie that fans of the series should enjoy. Don't forget: skittle-dee-ruff-ka-doo!
  • boblipton9 August 2004
    This middling entry in MGM's answer to Warner's Torchy Blaine series has Maisie going to Reno, getting involved in a mystery surrounding a divorcing couple.

    It is a rather dull entry, the result of an uninvolving script and bland characterizations. Harry Beaumont, one of MGM's longtime B directors, does his best with the visual story telling, but even Anne Southern, aided and abetted by some up-and-coming players like Ava Gardner and John Hodiak can't do much with the story but talk fast.

    MGM, once Thalberg was dead, never quite knew what to do with unglamorous characters and a smattering of 40s jive talk dates the story and gives an infantile air to the entire operation. For completest of the talent involved, but if you miss this, you won't suffer.
  • Plot-- Maisie takes a vacation to Reno from her demanding wartime job. At the train station she gets caught up with a likable soldier being sent abroad. There she agrees to take a letter to his wife in Reno pleading with her to stop divorce proceedings. Trouble is things are not what they seem at the wife's Reno household.

    Lesser entry in the Maisie series. The series draw, of course, is Sothern's spunky turn as the sassy blonde. Problem here is that the supporting roles are all sober-sides (except for Byron Foulger's last-minute goofy doctor), who too often squelch Maisie's comedic spark. Thus the amusement doesn't spread. Then too, the slender plot gets dragged out over 90-minutes minus needed comedic mood. Then too, the storyline meanders rather than builds.

    On the other hand, the opening scenes are a good taste of wartime America, with crowded trains, ration cards, and Maisie the Riveter. I wish that had carried over to the body of the movie. Also, I thought we'd get more swing-time band numbers given Maisie's employment with a band.

    Anyway, the tall, striking Hodiak is made for film noir not comedy, while the equally striking Gardner is largely wasted in a lesser role, still early in her career. At the same time, 1944 was a big year for all-American boy Tom Drake, what with his key role in the classic Meet Me In St. Louis (1944). Too bad his career never flowered. And what about that Mickey Rooney look- alike as the bellhop. I kept having to tell myself it's really not Rooney.

    All in all, the series and actress Sothern are better than this particular installment.
  • This eighth installment of the Maisie franchise is pretty strange and the plot very contrived. Yet, it still manages to entertain. It begins with Maisie being ordered to take a vacation from the defense plant, as she's exhausted and hasn't had a vacation in almost a year and a half. When she meets an old friend who is a band leader, he invites her to sing with his band in Reno. This way, her vacation will be paid for and all she'll need to do is get there. At the bus station, however, she meets a soldier (Tom Drake) who tells her a sob story in order to get her to give him her bus ticket. It seems his wife is now in Reno trying to get a divorce and he wants to stop her, as it's all just a bit misunderstanding. She gives him the ticket but then all leaves are canceled--and he's ordered back to camp. Maisie agrees to see the wife and deliver a letter to her.

    When Maisie arrives at where the wife is staying, he gives her the letter and learns that the husband is a creep. Maisie is satisfied and decides to stay out of the situation. BUT, she then learns accidentally that the lady she spoke with is NOT the soldier's wife! What gives? Who is impersonating the wife and why? Perhaps it's because the real wife (Ava Gardner) is very rich and someone is trying to steal her fortune. The problem is no one believes Maisie and she has a devil of a time convincing any one! As I said, the plot is strange and contrived. But, it manages to be pretty entertaining as well--especially at the end. Not among the better Maisie films but all are awfully good, so it's worth your time.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first third of this movie was irritating, the second third was mildly amusing, and the final third was downright tedious.

    I didn't even find the premise to be plausible, in that this to-be divorcée was allowing her secretary to run her life for her. Rich people live in a different world. They are accustomed to telling people what to do, not to having people tell them what to do.

    Possible spoiler to follow: I also didn't buy the cliché about how easily people assume that someone is mentally unbalanced. Just because someone believes there is a plot afoot, does not automatically mean they are a mental case. It's not like no one has ever plotted against anyone for financial gain.

    I didn't enjoy this movie. I ought to have heeded the other reviews. I wish I had skipped it.