The Road to Reno
Cast & Crew
Charles "buddy" Rogers
Jeff and Lee Millett are unhappy that their mother Jackie, who already has been divorced several times, is divorcing their kindly stepfather Robert. Jackie is considered a modern woman, whose youthful appearance leads people to believe she is her daughter's sister. Indeed, Jeff and Lee's relationship with their mother is more like that between siblings than between parent and child. Lee accompanies Jackie to Reno, where she intends to get the divorce and celebrate with other divorcées and singles. On the train, Lee meets Tom Wood, a young, earnest, working-class engineer who is headed to San Francisco for his first job. Tom and Lee fall in love, and he writes to her from San Francisco. Lee's life in Reno is one party after another, and both she and her mother attract the attention of Jerry Kenton, who is due to divorce his wife Elise. Lee suffers due to the dissolute lifestyle and forgets to answer Tom's letters. When Tom's job sends him to Nevada for a month, he visits Lee at the Eternal Triangle Rancho. The ranch, owned by Jackie's friends, is where divorcees come to take a "cure" and engage in endless parties and trysts. Tom is disgusted by Lee's new friends. One night, Tom and Lee become engaged, but later Tom becomes enraged by Jerry and hits him in a café. Tom's judgmental attitude causes Lee to angrily break off the engagement and leave the café with Jerry. In the meantime, Elise has telephoned Robert in New York to warn him that Jerry is a fortune-hunter who will seduce and ruin Lee. Lee goes to Jerry's apartment, but when he attempts to seduce her, she is frightened and protests. The arrival of her mother saves her, and she leaves quietly. Jackie is unaware of Jerry's duplicity and believes he is in love with her. Jeff comes to Nevada on his stepfather's advice and encourages Lee to reconcile with Tom. She agrees, and when she and Tom return to the hotel to announce their engagement, they discover that Jackie and Jerry are also engaged. Although her children protest the marriage and reveal Jerry's true nature, Jackie refuses to believe them. Feeling the need to protect Tom from her shameful family, Lee again breaks their engagement and sends him away. Jeff is outraged over his mother's unscrupulous behavior and, during the wedding, shoots Jerry and then kills himself. Jeff's death awakens Jackie to her own selfishness and amoral behavior. She urges Lee to find Tom and marry him, in the hope that if Lee finds happiness, Jackie herself will have something for which to live. Lee follows her mother's suggestion, and she and Tom are joyfully reunited.
Charles "buddy" Rogers
According to a news item in Film Daily, Carman Barnes was originally cast as "Lee Millett." This film marked Tom Douglas's film debut. According to copyright records, the scene in which divorcées kiss the column outside the courthouse in Reno and throw their wedding rings into the Truckee River was an actual "ritual" that occurs there after divorces were granted.