Cast & Crew
Eva Marie Saint
The ratings of Dan Bartlett's New York television show soar when his wife Sheila becomes a program regular; however, the collaboration causes a rift in their relationship. On his doctor's advice, Dan decides to take a vacation at the couple's Little Bend, Arizona ranch without Sheila. Arriving at the Phoenix airport, Dan answers interviewers' questions about tribal land rights in the area by suggesting that the land be given back to its rightful owners. Hearing his position, Native American Mary Little Cloud asks to meet Dan later. As Dan cleans his little-used ranch house, he finds Mary's dead body on his bedroom floor and attempts to call the police. Discovering the phone is dead and Mary's body has disappeared, Dan rushes to town to inform the police. Finding Mary's body in the back seat of Dan's car, Sheriff Riley arrests Dan, but without a murder weapon, is forced to release him. Back at the ranch, Dan finds Crazy Hollister, a young woman who explains that she sometimes sleeps at Dan's ranch to avoid her stepfather, John Ed Hollister, owner of the 500,000 acre ranch nearby called Strawberry Hill. When Riley arrives in the middle of the night to question him, Dan accidentally sets off a loaded gun, prompting Riley to arrest him again. However, when the wheelchair-bound John Ed recognizes the television personality, he suggests that Riley release him. Back at Dan's ranch that night, Crazy explains to Dan that a short time after her mother married John Ed, she died and John Ed refused to give Crazy the inheritance to which she is entitled. Soon after, Sheila arrives at the ranch and, seeing the scantily clad Crazy, assumes her husband is having an affair. After Crazy convinces her otherwise, Sheila tells Dan that he is banned from the show because of the murder and offers to help clear his name. The Bartletts then go to Mary's uncle, Joe Little Cloud, who has no clues about Mary's death, but offers to take them to mystic Old Bear. When Joe, who is weary of tourist expectations about his Native-American background, coyly refuses to leave until the "new moon" without explaining that the moonrise begins in only a few hours, the impatient Bartletts go alone, but discover the old man can speak only in his native language. Returning later with Joe to translate, the Bartletts learn that Old Bear has divined that Mary put stones in the fireplace as a clue. Unable to discern Old Bear's meaning, Dan and Sheila, knowing that Mary visited county recorder Roscoe Snagby just before her death, question the official, who promptly closes shop. Snagby then attempts to blackmail John Ed in exchange for keeping quiet about what Mary Little Cloud told him, prompting John Ed to order his henchman Reese to kill him. Meanwhile, the Bartletts, convinced that John Ed is their only supporter, ask him to convince Riley of Dan's innocence, but when Riley finds Snagby's dead body in the Dan's car, he arrests Dan again. While in his cell, Dan dreams that a town mob is preparing to hang him while his television and movie colleagues watch him get "canceled." Meanwhile, Crazy looks at the placement of the rocks in Dan's fireplace, which are arranged in a type of Native-American code, and tells Sheila that the words are "strawberry" and "barrel." Later at Strawberry Hill, Crazy accuses her stepfather of killing her mother and Mary Little Cloud, then flees when he attacks her. Meanwhile, Sheila breaks Dan out of jail and takes him to the mechanic shop, where they are to meet with Old Bear for more clues. Arriving at the darkened shop, Dan and Sheila narrowly stop Old Bear from being crushed under an automated hydraulic lift, but the old man dies from the shock. Reese, who is hiding in the shadows, knocks Sheila and Dan unconscious and puts them under the descending lift to die. Dan regains consciousness just in time to save them both, but as they flee, the shop's owner comes to and, seeing Old Bear's body, assumes Dan and Sheila killed him. Hearing radio reports calling for their arrest only minutes later, Dan and Sheila rush to John Ed, who invites them to spend the night, secretly arranging for Reese to kill them. When Reese reaches through the bedroom window to strangle Sheila and tears her shirt, Sheila mistakes the gesture as a sexual ploy from Dan. Equally oblivious, Dan hardly notices when a knife is thrown at him. Suddenly Crazy bursts into the room to usher them out of harm's way, but Reese, holding all three at gunpoint, takes them to a deserted line shack to kill them. After Sheila uses her hairspray to blind Reese temporarily, Crazy runs for help while the Bartletts hide in a cave. Reese then detonates some explosives to trigger a rock slide, trapping the couple inside the cave. Believing that they will die there, Dan and Sheila talk openly about their relationship. Sheila laments that she was unable to give Dan a child and berates herself for selfishly joining him on his show. After Dan apologizes for his bitterness, they make love. Meanwhile, Riley and his deputy Cactus borrow John Ed's helicopter to search with John Ed for the fugitives. Dan, seeing the helicopter through a hole in the cave ceiling, uses Sheila's bra to shoot a flaming arrow into a bush to catch Riley's attention. After Riley and Cactus free Dan and Sheila from the cave, John Ed claims that Reese is responsible for all the murders. Circling the area in the helicopter, the group spot Reese pushing Crazy into a rushing river. After they land the helicopter and Dan saves Crazy, John Ed shoots Reese but as he dies, Reese utters that Mary Little Cloud found a map proving that Strawberry Hill is Native-American land. Days later, Sheila shares Old Bear's last words with Crazy, who translates them as meaning "gun up." They soon search the barrel of a gun above the mantle and find the map showing that John Ed's land belongs to the Indians. Assured that John Ed will be arrested with the new evidence, Dan and Sheila return to New York, where Sheila quits the show to rejuvenate their relationship.
Eva Marie Saint
Betty Ann Carr
Chief Dan George
Rolland M. Brooks
Ralph Caro Jr.
Vou Lee Giokaris
Michael A. Hoey
Barton Kent James
Russell L. Metty
R. Robert Rosenbaum
Earl Williman Jr.
Pat Morita (1932-2005)
He was born Noriyuki Morita on June 28, 1932 in Isleton, California. The son of migrant fruit pickers, he contracted spinal tuberculosis when he was two and spent the next nine years in a sanitarium run by Catholic priests near Sacramento. He was renamed Pat, and after several spinal surgical procedures and learning how to walk, the 11-year-old Morita was sent to an internment camp at Gila River, Arizona, joining his family and thousands of other Japanese-Americans who were shamefully imprisoned by the U.S. government after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.
His family was released after the war, and Morita graduated from high school in Fairfield, California in 1950. He worked in his family's Chinese restaurant in Sacramento until his father was killed in a hit-and-run accident. He eventually found work as a data processor for the Department of Motor Vehicles and then Aerojet General Corporation before he decided to try his hand at stand-up comedy.
He relocated to San Francisco in 1962, where at first, there was some hesitation from clubs to book a Japanese-American comic, but Morita's enthusiasm soon warmed them over, and he was becoming something of a regional hit in all the Bay Area. His breakthrough came in 1964 when he was booked on ABC's The Hollywood Palace. The image of a small, unassuming Asian with the broad mannerisms and delivery of a modern American was something new in its day. He was a hit, and soon found more bookings on the show. And after he earned the nickname "the hip nip," he quickly began headlining clubs in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Morita's stage and television success eventually led him to films. He made his movie debut as "Oriental #2," the henchman to Beatrice Lilly in the Julie Andrew's musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967). Although his role, complete with thick coke-bottle glasses and gaping overbite, was a little hard to watch, it was the best he could do at the time. Subsequent parts, as in Don Knott's dreadful The Shakiest Gun in the West (1968); and Bob Hope's lamentable final film Cancel My Reservations (1972); were simply variations of the same stereotype.
However, television was far kinder to Morita. After some popular guest appearances in the early '70s on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Morita landed some semi-regular work. First, as the wisecracking, cigar chomping Captain Sam Pack on M.A.S.H. and as Ah Chew, the deadpan neighbor of Fred and Lamont Sanford in Sanford & Son. His success in these roles led to his first regular gig, as Arnold Takahashi in Happy Days. His stint as the owner of the soda shop where Ritchie Cunningham and the Fonz hung out for endless hours may have been short lived (just two seasons 1974-76), but it was Morita's first successful stab at pop immortality.
He left Happy Days to star in his own show, the critically savaged culture clash sitcom Mr. T and Tina that was canceled after just five episodes. Despite that setback, Morita rebounded that same year with his first dramatic performance, and a fine one at that, when he portrayed a Japanese-American internment camp survivor in the moving made for television drama Farewell to Manzanar (1976). After a few more guest appearances on hit shows (Magnum P.I., The Love Boat etc.), Morita found the goldmine and added new life to his career when he took the role of Miyagi in The Karate Kid (1984). Playing opposite Ralph Macchio, the young man who becomes his martial arts pupil, Morita was both touching and wise, and the warm bond he created with Macchio during the course of the film really proved that he had some serious acting chops. The flick was the surprise box-office hit of 1984, and Morita's career, if briefly, opened up to new possibilities.
He scored two parts in television specials that were notable in that his race was never referenced: first as the horse in Alice in Wonderland (1985); and as the toymaster in Babes in Toyland (1986). He also landed a detective show (with of course, comic undertones) that ran for two seasons Ohara (1987-89); nailed some funny lines in Honeymoon in Vegas (1992); was the sole saving grace of Gus Van Zandt's Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993); and starred in all of the sequels to The Karate Kid: The Karate Kid, Part II (1986), The Karate Kid, Part III (1989), and The Next Karate Kid (1994). Granted, it is arguable that Morita's career never truly blossomed out of the "wise old Asian man" caricature. But give the man his due, when it came to infusing such parts with sly wit and sheer charm, nobody did it better. Morita is survived by his wife, Evelyn; daughters, Erin, Aly and Tia; his brother, Harry, and two grandchildren.
by Michael T. Toole
Pat Morita (1932-2005)
We can pick up my stomach on the way back!- Dan Bartlett
Bing Crosby's cameo marked his final acting appearance in a film (his remaining appearances would be in documentaries).
Cancel My Reservation was based on Louis L'Amour's novel The Broken Gun, which was also the film's working title. During the film's opening credits, Bob Hope, as the character "Dan Bartlett," is being taken to jail in Little Bend, AZ. Hope provides voice-over narration intermittently throughout the film, making jokes about the precarious situations in which he and his wife "Sheila" find themselves. Although Filmfacts states that at the end of the film Sheila quits Dan's show after announcing she is pregnant, in the viewed print, Sheila only resigns from the show to rejuvenate their relationship.
According to an March 8, 1968 Hollywood Reporter news item, Hope recently had purchased the rights to the novel. On March 24, 1968 Daily Variety reported that Hope had hired Michael Fessier to write the screenplay; however, Fessier does not appear in the onscreen credits. On June 8, 1971 Hollywood Reporter reported that Hope was considering Lucille Ball as his co-star, but a August 6, 1971 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that Hope then chose Eva Marie Saint. Hope and Saint had previously co-starred together in the 1956 film That Certain Feeling (see below). As noted in reviews, Naho Enterprises was actually a joint venture between Bob Hope and NBC, with which Hope had a long-running television contract.
Although a March 25, 1968 Hollywood Reporter article noted that Hope had planned to shoot the film at Hope Town, his 5,000-acre ranch in Corriganville, CA, Cancel My Reservation actually was shot at Southwestern Studios in Carefree, AZ and the Samuel Goldwyn Studios in Hollywood. According to the pressbook, location shooting took place in New York City and in Arizona, including the Phoenix Airport, Verde River, Blue Point and at the desert mansion of businessman Carl Hovgard, which is featured as Strawberry Hill in the film.
Cancel My Reservation marked Hope's debut as a producer for an independent production and the feature film debut of Betty Ann Carr. Although press materials list the actress as "Betty Ann Carr," in onscreen credits she was listed as Betty Carr.
Released in United States on Video June 8, 1989
Released in United States Winter January 1, 1974
Released in United States Winter January 1, 1974
Released in United States on Video June 8, 1989