For Reel

Cross-Country Romance (1940)
July 14, 2016, 12:03 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Frank Woodruff
2.5 Stars
Cross-Country RomanceThis programmer saw RKO jump on the runaway heiress bandwagon that started with It Happened One Night. Gene Raymond plays a doctor who finds unexpected cargo in his trailer in Wendy Barrie, who has just fled her wedding ceremony. The two quickly start a journey that takes them across the trailer parks and diners scattered in small towns across the United States, and what begins as disdain for one another grows into love. Barrie is quite good in the role, even if screwball comedy doesn’t quite seem her strong suit—there is an amusing bit near the beginning where she glamorously positions herself after she fakes having fainted, only to be annoyed by Raymond’s failure to notice. Raymond, on the other hand, is as dull as leading men get at this period, and Barrie doesn’t have the fire of an Ann Sothern to make either the banter or sexuality really crackle on her own. Like many of these genre pictures, the biggest pleasures come in the locations and characters met along the way, with Berton Churchill and Tom Dugan producing some laughs as a bumbling duo who attempt to claim the reward on Barrie.