A Reno divorce provided the storyline and-or setting for many a Hollywood movie
When the script called for a wife or husband to declare to their spouse, “I’m going to Reno!” it meant one thing – a Reno “quickie” divorce.
Hollywood movies, particularly those made during Hollywood’s Pre-Code Era (1929-1934), often portrayed getting a divorce as glamorous, lighthearted or fun. Consider this line spoken by actors Alice Brady to Edward Everett Horton in the 1934 film, The Gay Divorcee:
“Oh, we’ll have a wonderful divorce!”
The following Reno divorce movies were produced from 1910 to 1961. Unfortunately, many of the older films are not available for viewing, either on videotape or DVD.
The movie titles in boldface with one or two asterisks indicate how you might be able to view the movie today:
** Turner Classic Movies
A Message from Reno (1917 silent)
A Reno Divorce (1927 silent)
A Reno Romance (1910 silent))
All Aboard for Reno (1911 silent)
Half Way to Reno (1913 silent)
Lightnin’ (1925 silent)
On the Road to Reno (1915 silent)
On to Reno (1928 silent)
One on Reno (1911 silent)
Ready for Reno (1915 silent)
Reconciled in Reno (1912 silent)
Reno (1923 silent)
Reno or Bust (1924 silent)
Reno: All Change! (1919 silent)
The Divorce Cure (1912 silent)
To Reno and Back (1913 silent)
Affair in Reno (1957)
Born to Kill (1947) ** Location shooting on Virginia Street in Reno
Charlie Chan in Reno (1939) * Re-released in 2007 in a 4-DVD box set, Charlie Chan Volume 4, by Twentieth Century Fox, the studio that produced all the Chan movies. Special features on the DVD include Welcome To Reno: America’s Divorce Resort and Reno Memories, available for viewing on this site.
Crashing Reno (1931)
Girl Crazy (1934) *
Lightnin’ (1930) Location shooting at South Lake Tahoe, the original Tahoe Tavern in Tahoe City, and Reno.
Maisie Goes to Reno (1944) **
Merry Wives of Reno (1934) *, ** Great opening shots of divorce seekers getting off the train in Reno; breezy divorce dialogue; lawyer signs; women talking to their attorneys; location shots of Reno. Good line: “So this is Reno!”
Next Time I Marry (1938)
Night Life in Reno (1931) *
Peach-o-Reno (1931) *
Phffft (1954) * Good lines:
Lawyer to Nina Tracey (Judy Holliday): “Miss Tracey, m’am, As your lawyer, I ask you… wasn’t that a beautiful, beautiful divorce? A really lovely ceremony?”
Nina Tracey (Judy Holliday) to Lawyer: “You mean it’s really all over… that’s all there is to it? It was so quick… are you absolutely sure it’s legal?”
Private Detective (1939) ** Not set in Reno, but good dialogue about a Reno divorce and its potential impact on a child.
Reno (1930) A print of this film survives in the Library of Congress.
Reno (1939) ** Opening montage shot on Virginia Street and in Reno. Good line spoken by actor Richard Dix, playing the attorney: “You know, Jessie, I’ve run across a very queer law here… Just a little while to establish a residence. Politicans cooked it up a long time ago to get the vote from the immigrant miners.”
Reno or Bust (1930)
Reno or Bust (1934)
Reunion in Reno (1951)
Rolling Down to Reno (1947)
She Asked for It (1937)
Smarty (1934) *
The Gay Divorcee (1934) **
The Misfits (1961) **
The Opposite Sex (1956) ** A musical re-make of the 1939 film The Women.
The Road to Reno (1931)
The Road to Reno (1938)
The Women (1939) **
Vacation in Reno (1946) **