Cast & Crew
Hollywood-bound author Christopher "Kit" Madden, whose best-selling novel Here Is Tomorrow is the talk of the nation, is about to board a train in New York when she is cabled that Cary Grant is unavailable to play the lead in the screen adaptation of her book. Although Kit initially rejects the suggestion of Arrowhead Pictures producer Henry Baldwin that an unknown be cast as the novel's post-war hero, she changes her mind when she is seated across from Captain Rusty Thomas, a handsome Marine. Immediately struck by Rusty's masculine charm, Kit finds herself lying about her identity upon hearing Rusty and his good-natured traveling companion, Lieutenant Dink Watson, denigrating Here Is Tomorrow . Calling herself Kit Klotch, Kit defends the book and insists on the credibility of the hero's pragmatic notions about romance. While waiting for a new train in Chicago, Kit receives a telegram from Baldwin, whom she had contacted earlier about Rusty, ordering her to keep track of him. Rusty and Dink, however, leave the station in order to purchase some rationed whiskey, and Kit ends up missing her train while chasing after them. To avoid revealing herself, the baggage-less Kit pretends that she has lost her ticket and is forced to travel in the coach section. Kit nonetheless enjoys herself with Rusty and Dink, getting drunk and silly in the dining car. When Consuela "Connie" Callahan, a talkative flirt whom Dink and Rusty refer to as a "beetle," accuses Kit of stealing her orchid, however, a scene erupts, and Kit is thrown off the train the next morning. Then, as they make plans with Kit to meet up in San Diego, where they are stationed, Rusty and Dink miss their train. Although the Marines have access to a nearby military airfield, Rusty, eager to stay with Kit, lies that the next flight to San Diego has been canceled due to bad weather. Kit, Rusty and Dink get caught in a downpour while walking from the airfield, but are befriended by a man who eventually sells Kit his exotic, fussy Italian car. During the drive west, Rusty tries to romance Kit in a hay field, but his unabashed sexuality unnerves her and causes her to intellectualize the situation. Frustrated, Rusty starts to mope until the car runs out of water and they are forced to seek help at a New Mexican ranch. There Rusty flirts with the Mexican-American ranch owner's daughter, causing Kit to seethe with jealousy. Anxious to stop the flirtation, Kit tells the patriotic rancher that Rusty and Dink stole their uniforms and are only posing as Marines. When the enraged rancher begins firing his rifle at Dink and Rusty, the trio drives off in a frenzy. After Kit confesses her lie and thereby reveals her true feelings, she and Rusty happily reconcile. Later, at an Albuquerque hotel, Kit, who left her purse at the ranch, decides to use her notoriety to wrangle a room for the night. The scheme backfires, however, when a local newspaper reporter informs the hotel manager that according to the latest press wire, Kit has already arrived in Hollywood. Kit is thrown in jail, but is bailed out by the still ignorant Dink and Rusty. Baldwin then arrives to vouch for Kit, and upon learning of Kit's true identity, Rusty becomes irate and refuses to consider starring in her movie. While Kit then makes her mark in Hollywood, Rusty feigns indifference and tries to ignore reports about Kit's romance with an Arrowhead star. At Dink's urging, Rusty finally admits that he still loves Kit and wires her that he is coming to visit. As Rusty pulls up to her house, an overjoyed Kit looks heavenward and says, "Thanks, God, I'll take it from here."
Miss Louella Parsons
J. Louis Johnson
Rose Marie Lopez
William H. Cannon
Russell A. Cully
Albert S. D'agostino
Jesse L. Lasky
Earl B. Mounce
Francis M. Sarver
Vernon L. Walker
The film was directed by Mervyn LeRoy, who racked up such varied credits as the Busby Berkeley musical Gold Diggers of 1933, wartime drama Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944) and epic Quo Vadis (1951), during his fifty years in Hollywood. Joining LeRoy on Without Reservations was his cousin, and one time brother-in-law of Samuel Goldwyn, producer Jesse Lasky. Lasky's Feature Play Company, formed in 1913 with friend Cecil B. DeMille, would merge with several companies, eventually evolving into Paramount.
LeRoy befriended John Wayne during the filming of Without Reservations and went on to assist the Duke in his first directorial effort The Green Berets (1968). Colbert also made an impact on Leroy while working on Without Reservations. He would later refer to her as an interesting lady to work with, recalling her habit of not watching where she was going and constantly bumping into things. He also recalls Colbert's belief that the left side of her face was her good side and how every shot in the film had to be arranged so the star's favored side was captured.
LeRoy's tinsel town connections made for a few interesting cameos in Without Reservations. Look for Jack Benny as an autograph seeker in the train station. Louella Parsons plays a Hollywood radio gossiper. Cary Grant also appears for a dance sequence. Apparently Grant walked by the set one day during filming and LeRoy asked him to come in. Even the director himself makes an on-screen appearance, dining with Colbert.
And be sure to listen for Colbert's famous line towards the end of the film, "Thanks, God, I'll take it from here." The line was actually a familiar prayer used by aviators after a particularly heated engagement. It was also the title of the book, by Jane Allen and Mae Livingston, on which Without Reservations was based.
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
Producer: Jesse L. Lasky, Walter MacEwen
Screenplay: Andrew Solt, based on the novel by Jane Allen and Mae Livingston
Cinematography: Milton R. Krasner
Editor: Jack Ruggiero
Art Direction: Ralph Berger, Albert S. D'Agostino
Music: Roy Webb
Cast: Claudette Colbert (Christopher 'Kit' Madden), John Wayne (Rusty Thomas), Don DeFore (Dink Watson), Anne Triola (Consuela 'Connie' Callahan), Phil Brown (Soldier), Frank Puglia (Ortega).
BW-101m. Closed captioning.
by Stephanie Thames
The working title of this film was Thanks, God, I'll Take It From Here. The picture was the first that Jesse L. Lasky Productions made in conjuction with RKO. According to records from the Bank of America archives, Lasky received a $975,000 loan from the bank to make the film. Director Mervyn LeRoy's film company was called Arrowhead Productions, the same name used for the movie company in the film, but Arrowhead was not involved in the making of this picture. RKO borrowed Don DeFore from Hal Wallis' company for the production. Hollywood Reporter announced that LeRoy was testing Lieutenant Gavin Alberts and Dorothy Porter for roles in the film, but their appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Mabel Webb was announced as a cast member in Hollywood Reporter, but her appearance in the final film has not been confirmed. Background shots for the production were filmed in Chicago and New York, and some scenes were shot in Chatsworth, CA, according to Hollywood Reporter. Some reviewers commented on the similarity between this picture and Frank Capra's 1934 Columbia hit It Happened One Night, which also starred Claudette Colbert. Colbert reprised her role in a Lux Radio Theatre broadcast on August 26, 1946, co-starring Robert Cummings.
Released in United States Spring May 1946
Raymond Burr's screen debut.
Cary Grant had a guest appearance.
Released in United States Spring May 1946