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The Road to Reno (1938)

Approved | | Comedy, Music, Romance | August 1938 (USA)
Screwball comedy western about a socialite who wants divorced from a rancher.


S. Sylvan Simon


I.A.R. Wylie (story), Roy Chanslor (screenplay) | 4 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Randolph Scott ... Steve Fortness
Hope Hampton ... Linda Halliday
Glenda Farrell ... Sylvia Shane
Helen Broderick ... Aunt Minerva
Alan Marshal ... Walter Crawford
David Oliver ... Salty
Ted Osborne Ted Osborne ... Linda's Attorney
Samuel S. Hinds ... Sylvia's Attorney
Charles Murphy Charles Murphy ... Mike
Spencer Charters ... The Judge
Dot Farley ... Mrs. Brumleigh (as Dorothy Farley)
Mira McKinney ... Hannah
Renie Riano ... Woman Bailiff
Lita Chevret ... Gladys
Willie Fung ... Lame Duck


Temperamental opera star Linda Hlliday (Hope Hampton) leaves New York City and heads for Reno, Nevada in order to get a quickie divorce from her Nevada-rancher husband, Steve Fortness (Randolph Scott), as he wants her to give up her career and live on the ranch with him. She has no intention of doing so, especially since after she gets the divorce, she intends to marry Walter Crawford (Alan Marshal), a wealthy young New York City stockbroker. On the train to Reno, she meets Sylvia Shane (Glenda Farrell), who is going to Reno to get her fourth divorce. Arriving in Reno, she unexpectedly meets husband Steve and his friend "Salty" (David Oliver) at the train station depot platform. She tells Steve she intends to divorce him, and he has no comment. A telephone call informs Steve that his large horse herd has stampeded into the mountains. The next day Steve and "Salty" round up some of the horses, but, as they are driving them back to his ranch an airplane swoops down and disperses them ... Written by Les Adams <longhorn1939@suddenlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HE TAMED THE WEST and SHE TAMED HIM(1946 reissue print ad) See more »


Comedy | Music | Romance


Approved | See all certifications »






Release Date:

August 1938 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Ranger and the Lady See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


I Gave My Heart Away
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Lyrics by Harold Adamson
Sung by Hope Hampton
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User Reviews

What did she hope for?
21 March 2014 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

If silent screen star Hope Hampton hoped that The Road To Reno would be a comeback film in sound she would be disappointed. This western setting screwball comedy with Hope as a socialite opera singer trying to get divorced from rancher Randolph Scott is never going to be ranked in the top screwball comedies of the era.

What I was trying to wrap my mind around was the concept of a silent star who was an opera singer. To my mind only Cecil B. DeMille was able to sell that to the public in Geraldine Farrar and he had a woman with a built in public. Hope opens the film singing in a nightclub an aria from La Boheme and then has three other forgettable songs from Jimmy McHugh and Harold Adamson. Not the top material those two guys ever wrote.

As it goes in The Road To Reno Hope wants to divorce Randy in order to marry the urbane Alan Marshal. But Scott won't let her go and Marshal arrives at the ranch to fight for her. Truth be told she wasn't all that willing to give up Randolph Scott, who would.

Some good supporting performances by Helen Broderick as Scott's aunt and real owner of the ranch which straddles the Nevada/California border, a plot gambit that's used by both leads. Also from Marshal who has a few witty lines and Glenda Farrell over from Warner Brothers to lend a few chosen wisecracks.

But Randolph Scott at least got sit tall in the saddle and would have to wait for My Favorite Wife to be in a good screwball comedy.

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