Without Reservations (1946)

I’m usually quite tolerant of Classical Hollywood films, but I hated this film. Starring John Wayne and Claudette Colbert.

Produced by RKO, this film is about an author whose book is being made into a film and she wants an unknown to play the role of her male hero. This film stacked up a run time of 1 hr 47 minutes. Maybe it is because I’ve always associated RKO with B-pictures, to begin with this film seemed a bit too long for me. Even with its full runtime, some of the scenes in the middle could have been dropped and the rest padded out in a perfectly acceptable way.

This film tried to do so much at once and as a result tied itself in knots and only succeeds in pumping out the postwar moral that independent women are dangerous and must be quelled by a MAN! Either that, or you are a sexually dangerous and provocative Mexican lady who is in and out of the film quicker than you can say ‘John Wayne’!

I respect John Wayne’s acting but with the film trying to do too much at once it also lurched about and at times it feels like the film wanted to be a Western (it does have John Wayne in it, after all!) but gave up half way through. Nothing is really resolved and I felt there was absolutely zero chemistry between Colbert and Wayne. The presence of Anne Triola as the waitress Consuela Callaghan was forgettable and she squawked her way through her scenes.

The film contains an appearance by Cary Grant as a sort of in-joke reference to the film itself. However, this doesn’t save the film. If the script had even been competent, then perhaps.

MY RATING: * / *****

 

 

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