Reno (1939 film)

Reno is a 1939 film directed by John Farrow and starring Richard Dix, Gail Patrick and Anita Louise.[1]

Directed byJohn Farrow
Produced byRobert Sisk
Screenplay byJohn Twist
Story byEllis St. Joseph
StarringRichard Dix
Anita Louise
Gail Patrick
Music byRoy Webb
CinematographyJ. Roy Hunt
Edited byHarry Marker
Distributed byRKO Radio Pictures
Release date
  • December 1, 1939 (1939-12-01)
Running time
73 minutes
CountryUnited States


After a woman gambling in his Reno casino loses money and sues him trying to get it back, Bill Shear suddenly recognizes her as his own daughter, Joanne, someone he has not seen since a long-ago divorce.

Shear remembers what brought him to Nevada in the first place. As a young attorney, then known as William Shayne, he represented silver miners. He met and married Jessie Gibbs and became a father, but when the silver went bust, leaving Reno on the brink of becoming a ghost town, it was he who created a new identity for Reno as a place where unhappily married individuals could get a quick, painless divorce.

Neglecting his own family due to his work, Bill ironically is left alone when Jessie obtains one of those easy divorces, taking their child and leaving him. He is also disbarred and must find another line of work, which is how he came to be in the casino business now. Joanne, moved by her father's story, abandons her lawsuit against him.



The film was based on a story by Ellis St Joseph which RKO bought in December 1938. Robert Sisk was assigned to be the producer[2]

By May 1939 John Twist was writing the script and Richard Dix to star. It was Dix's first film under a new long-term contract with RKO, where the actor had some of his greatest successes, notably Cimarron.[3]

John Farrow was assigned to direct in July 1939.[4] Filming started August 1939.[5]


The new York Times said "from beginning to end it is compounded as the sheerest twaddle."[6]


  1. ^ Richard Jewell and Vernon Harbin, The RKO Story. New Rochelle, New York: Arlington House, 1982. p. 134
  2. ^ "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN- HOLLYWOOD". New York Times. Dec 20, 1938 – via ProQuest.
  3. ^ DOUGLAS W CHURCHILL (May 11, 1939). "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD". New York Times – via ProQuest.
  4. ^ Schallert, E. (Jul 13, 1939). "DRAMA". Los Angeles Times – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ DOUGLAS W CHURCHILL (Aug 15, 1939). "SCREEN NEWS HERE AND IN HOLLYWOOD". New York Times – via ProQuest.
  6. ^ "THE SCREEN IN REVIEW". New York Times. Dec 21, 1939. p. 29.

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