Interviews, Featurettes

Today no one needs to get away to get divorced – they just divorce. But “splittin’ blankets” wasn’t always so easy. In most states, you had to wait a year or more and prove adultery.

Or you could go to Reno!

Reno Memories
Bill McGee recalls “some of the best years of my life” as the dude wrangler on Nevada’s famous Flying M.E. divorce ranch from 1947 to 1949. This special featurette was produced for Twentieth Century Fox for its 2007 re-release on DVD of their 1939 film Charlie Chan in Reno. Available in the 4-DVD box set, “The Charlie Chan Collection”, Volume 4.

Welcome to Reno: America’s Divorce Resort
The Reno divorce era comes alive in this documentary short with on-camera commentary by Bill McGee and others. Produced for Twentieth Century Fox, the docu short is one of several bonus extras that accompanies Fox’s 2007 re-release on DVD of their 1939 film Charlie Chan in Reno. Available in the 4-DVD box set, “The Charlie Chan Collection”, Volume 4. (Clip courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox)

Reno’s KOLO-TV
Ed Pearce of Reno’s ABC-affiliate, KOLO-TV 8, interviews former Nevada divorce ranch wrangler Bill McGee on the site of the former Flying M.E., the famous divorce ranch 20 miles south of Reno. (Air date: Nov 8-9, 2004)


RENO and The Romance of Divorce  (A Fundraising Trailer)
The upcoming documentary that tells the remarkable true story of how a small town in Nevada redefined the American marriage. Writer/director/producer and acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Cork says, “This documentary will not ‘glorify’ divorce, but it will tell the story of how changing our divorce laws created a more equal society. It’s a great story.”
John Cork and Lisa van Eyssen, Producers, MadeInCloverland
San Francisco Film Society, Fiscal Sponsor
KNPB Reno, PBS Sponsor Station
William L. “Bill” McGee and Sandra V. McGee, Creative Consultants

Romantic Nevada
A 1943 TravelTalks documentary short produced and narrated by James A. FitzPatrick. The footage from 00:03:44 to 00:04:58 was shot on the Tumbling DW (later the famous Flying M.E.) in Washoe Valley. The tall gentleman in the white hat is Dore Wood, the Eastern blueblood who started the Tumbling DW in the late 1930s with his then-wife Emmy Wood.

Interview with Sandra McGee
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum Oklahoma City, OK. June 19, 2009


A Return to the Flying M.E.
On May 16, 2004, the gates of the famous Flying M. E. divorce ranch (now a private residence) were opened to 70 guests to celebrate the release of Bill and Sandra McGee’s book, The Divorce Seekers: A Photo Memoir of a Nevada Dude Wrangler. Nearly every guest had a personal connection to the exclusive divorce ranch of the 1930s and 1940s, and a story to tell. 

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