5.8/10
59
4 user 2 critic

Vacation in Reno (1946)

A hapless husband searches for buried treasure at a dude ranch; meanwhile, his wife wants a divorce and bank robbers want him dead.

Director:

Leslie Goodwins

Writers:

Charles E. Roberts (screenplay), Arthur A. Ross (screenplay) (as Arthur Ross) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jack Haley ... Jack Carroll
Anne Jeffreys ... Eleanor
Wally Brown ... Eddie Roberts
Iris Adrian ... Bunny Wells
Morgan Conway ... Joe
Alan Carney ... Angel
Myrna Dell ... Madeleine Dumont
Matt McHugh Matt McHugh ... William (Bill) Dumont
Claire Carleton ... Sally Beaver
Jason Robards Sr. ... Sheriff Johnson (as Jason Robards)
Matt Willis ... Hank - Deputy Sheriff
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Storyline

Jack Carroll and his wife have a phony argument to teach their friends a lesson, but when he makes a crack that her mother is a "fat porpoise," they fight for real and she leaves him. To make matters worse, Jack runs into two men just before they don masks and rob a bank. Now he is the only one who can identify them. In spite of all this, he takes a vacation in Reno; he is convinced he can use a metal detector to find buried treasure and realize his dream of starting a rabbit farm. Coincidentally, the bank robbers make their getaway to Reno and check into the same dude ranch as Jack. In fact, they bury a suitcase full of the loot and who should find it but hapless Jack himself. This is just the beginning of Jack's troubles, as he finds himself at odds with a deputy sheriff, a roughneck sailor and a gun moll who tries (for complicated reasons) to convince the police she is Mrs. Carroll. Worst of all, Jack's wife arrives and wants a divorce. Before this mess is cleared up, Jack will ... Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

IT'S A LAUGH-SPREE IN RENO! (original ad - all caps) See more »

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 December 1946 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Falsa Felicidade See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

RKO Radio Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

 
You're watching this on the TV, right?
2 June 2005 | by max von meyerlingSee all my reviews

If you've ever wondered where the sit com comes from look no further. This little programmer, which clocks in at almost exactly an hour, is nothing more than a series of set gags (or situations) which the lead players have to play out. The main characters exist as the narrative thread to hold together the otherwise unrelated gags. This is virtually a pilot for early fifties sit coms lacking only a laugh track and commercial breaks. It reminds me of Sam Goldwyn's premonition about television: Why should people go out and pay to see bad movies when they can stay home and watch them for free.

Jack Haley is the lead here and Anne Jeffreys, before her fondly remembered sit com fame in TOPPER, is the wife who phones in her straight role. (Actually if you watch those Toppers today you discover that she has zero acting ability and is barely able to pull a face as the director clears the deck to line up one of her high school level reaction shots. Really public access grade comedy acting.) The script so convolutely turns in on itself that long time partners Alan Carney and Wally Brown never appear in a scene together. There is a doubling and even tripling of that old Checkov quote about the pistol seen on the mantelpiece in act one having to be fired in act three. Since the whole plot is: set up - gag, set up - gag, it should come as no surprise that the ending has somehow, in an almost astronomically surrealist sort of way, set up in the first scene. It's not done consciously or artistically, as when Laurel and Hardy carrying a piano meet an ape while crossing a tight rope across some mountains or just about anything done by Fields, but because of a certain smooth professional incompetency. It leads to pretty much the same place, however.

Once upon a time, one or another of the short subject manufacturers would turn out short comedies driven by one personality like Leon Errol (or Edgar Kennedy) and this film is just an afterthought wedged in between that era and television. (I have subsequently learned that the film's chief writer, one Charles E. Roberts, was the writer of the Leon Errol and Edgar Kennedy shorts and many others too. Apparently, this was "his thing".) I mean, Carney and Brown could have been paired up, but it is possible they were in an earlier version of the script, as a more comical threat, but a different direction called for a different script and their pairing would have produced less menace in their roles and so their roles were switched around for a straighter menace for the leads to play off of. As long as they were already under contract. Just switch. Maybe. But its all that arbitrary.

The rating of this film when I saw it was a five which is about right. It aims low and hits its mark and there is some nostalgia value and its no more a waste of time than most TV today anyway. And its free.


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