Silver-screen darling Claudette Colbert plays Kit Madden, a novelist en route to Hollywood, where his latest hit is to be filmed. On the train she meets two military men, Rusty Thomas (John Wayne) and Dink Watson (Don Defore). Without knowing Madden's identity, both men declaim her novel. Even so, Colbert thinks Thomas is perfect for the lead in the film, and when the two men change trains in Chicago, Madden changes with them, leaving her luggage behind. Ticketless, she is tossed from the train, but not before she and Thomas have developed a drunken camaraderie and expressed their affections for each other. Both men decide to exit the train with her and resume their travel to California in a rented car. But when Madden's identity is exposed, Thomas feels betrayed and leaves her in New Mexico, and it's up to mutual friend Watson to see if he can reunite the two lovebirds. WITHOUT RESERVATIONS was an unusual film for both Wayne and Colbert, and their fine performances are a tribute to the range of their acting abilities.
A novelist is introduced to a man who embodies the qualities of her fictional hero. As they travel across the country by train, she learns the truth about what rough-and-tumble guys actually want out of life. Several surprise guest stars add to this engaging romantic comedy.