Without Reservations

  • 1946
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Romance

In this reworking of IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, Colbert plays the author of a best-selling novel traveling incognito to Hollywood, where she plans to work on the film version of the book. On the train she meets Wayne and DeFore, two Marine fliers who dislike Colbert's book and don't realize they are striking up a friendship with the novel's author. Colbert...read more

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In this reworking of IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, Colbert plays the author of a best-selling novel traveling incognito to Hollywood, where she plans to work on the film version of the book. On the train she meets Wayne and DeFore, two Marine fliers who dislike Colbert's book and don't realize

they are striking up a friendship with the novel's author. Colbert is convinced Wayne is the right man to star in her story and sends a telegram to the film's producer. The trio arrives in Chicago, where Colbert learns Wayne and DeFore are taking another train. Leaving her baggage hastily behind,

Colbert boards the two Marines' train. The three get a little inebriated in the club car, then Wayne and DeFore decide to teach Colbert the art of flying. After they create a mock airplane from furniture, Colbert is discovered by railroad officials and tossed off the train. Wayne and DeFore join

her, then buy a used car to continue the journey westward. One night, as DeFore is working on the car's engine, Wayne and Colbert find some idyllic moments in a haystack. They confess a growing love for one another, though Colbert worries that Wayne will discover she has lied to him about her

identity. Colbert cashes a check with her real name when the trio arrives in New Mexico, and the local population is thrilled to find the famous author in their midst. A story then leaks out of Hollywood that Colbert has arrived in Tinseltown, so Colbert ends up in jail for passing forged checks.

Wayne and DeFore sell their car to raise bail, but Colbert's producer comes to town to help out the writer. With her identity revealed, Wayne goes to the Marine base in San Diego, convinced Colbert was merely using him for some fun. Meanwhile, Colbert becomes embroiled in the filming of her novel.

In a radio broadcast Parsons (playing herself) hints that Colbert may be romantically involved with the film's intended leading man. Wayne hears the broadcast, which further angers him. DeFore, in the meantime, has been in touch with Colbert and is determined to see true love conquer. Eventually

he succeeds, as Colbert and Wayne are reunited. As Wayne walks to his beloved, Colbert repeats the prayer aviators use after getting out of a tight jam: "Thanks, God, I'll take it from here."

This is an atypical film for the Duke, and Wayne isn't helped much by the tired script. Every conceivable situation crops up as the three make their cross-country trek, with laughs petering out long before the film's end. Wayne and Colbert do play well off one another, though Colbert seems a bit

old for her part. In no way does she equal her marvelous Oscar-winning performance in IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT. LeRoy tries to give this some energy with his direction, but at best the film is only mildly amusing. In addition to Parsons' cameo, there are quick appearances by Benny as an autograph

seeker and Grant, who briefly dances with Colbert. LeRoy also takes a bit part as a man eating dinner with Colbert. The production cost $1,683,000 and proved to be a popular box-office attraction.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: In this reworking of IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT, Colbert plays the author of a best-selling novel traveling incognito to Hollywood, where she plans to work on the film version of the book. On the train she meets Wayne and DeFore, two Marine fliers who dislike C… (more)

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