Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Without Reservations (aka Thanks God, I’ll Take It From Here)

(1946, USA, 107m, b/w)
d Mervyn LeRoy p Jesse L.Lasky, Walter MacEwen sc Andrer Solt ph Milton R. Krasner ed Jack Ruggiero ad Ralph Berger, Albert D’Agostino m Roy Webb cast Claudette Colbert, John Wayne, Don DeFore, Anne Triola, Louella Parsons, Raymond Burr, Cary Grant, Mervyn LeRoy, Jack Benny, Erskine Sanford

Christopher Madden (Colbert) writes Here Is Tomorrow (The Fountainhead). The movie adaptation lacks a lead, but as luck would have it she meets her perfect Gary Cooper (Wayne – charmingly relaxed) on the cross-country train to Hollywood. Perfect, that is, apart from the fact he thought the book was a load of hooey – why would a feller run around changing the world before he’s got to grips with his ‘glandular attraction’ to the leading lady (slated to be Lana Turner)? The pace winds down once they reach Los Angeles, and female idealism loses out to male straightforwardness, as usual, but Colbert (incognito) is as sparkling as ever, playing that rare beast, the intellectual female, and the usual train journey shenanigans keep things rattling along nicely for the first two acts. Her name Christopher may be a dig at the Welles daughter, and the projection room “America On The March” opening treads a fine line between homage and pillage, but the appearance of Louella Parsons and a host of uncredited others are all part of the pleasing self-referentiality and breezy fun.

© Time Out Film Guide

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