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Union Depot (1932)

Travelers of different and varied backgrounds meet and interact on one night in a metropolitan train station and its environs.

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writers:

Joe Laurie Jr. (based on play by) (as Laurie), Gene Fowler (based on play by) (as Fowler) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Chick Miller
Joan Blondell ... Ruth Collins
Guy Kibbee ... Scrap Iron Scratch
Alan Hale ... The Baron - aka Bushy Sloan
David Landau ... Kendall
George Rosener ... Dr. Bernardi
Earle Foxe ... Jim Parker
Frank McHugh ... The Drunk
Adrienne Dore ... Sadie
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Storyline

Among the travelers of varied backgrounds that meet and interact on one night at Union Depot, a metropolitan train station, are Chick and his friend Scrap Iron, both newly released from prison after serving time for vagrancy. Hungry and desperate for a break, Chick fortuitously comes across across a valise abandoned by a drunken traveler. In it he finds a shaving kit and a suit of clothes with a bankroll, which help transform the affable tramp into a dashing gent. After buying himself a meal, Chick seeks some female companionship among the many hustlers who walk the station. He propositions Ruth Collins, a stranded, out-of-work showgirl and takes her to the station's hotel. However, he quickly realizes she's not a streetwalker but another hard luck victim of the Depression. Touched by the Ruth's sincerity, he vows to help her buy a ticket to Salt Lake City, where a job awaits her. Scrap Iron is lucky too, stumbling across a wallet with a claim check discarded by a pickpocket. When ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1932 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Caballero por un día See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Per the bill for Chick's meal at the Union Depot Diner included: Salad (lettuce and tomato) - 15 cents, T-Bone Steak with Onion - 85 cents, Brown Potatoes - 15 cents, Biscuits - 15 cents, Honey - 15 cents, Coffee - 10 cents, and Raisin Pie a la mode - 20 cents. The grand total was $1.75. See more »

Quotes

Men's Room Attendant: [Brushing off Chick's suit] Yes, suh, I sure Savannahed them folks out!
Charles 'Chick' Miller: That so?
[Not realizing that the suit he's wearing has money in its pocket]
Charles 'Chick' Miller: Well, the smallest thing I have is a twenty.
Men's Room Attendant: [Amused] Boss, if I had change for that right now, I'd be attending a Southern girl lavishly!
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Soundtracks

The Kiss Waltz
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph A. Burke
First tune played on the jukebox
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User Reviews

 
The 64 dollar question is ...
5 June 2012 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

...why would Ruth Collins (Joan Blondell) take desperate measures - and in the case of women in 1932 that could mean only one thing - to get that 64 dollars? The setting is a train station - "Union Depot" - during the Depression. At the beginning the camera goes back and forth over travelers that ultimately do not have much to do with the story - immigrant families speaking in foreign languages, a mother walking along with her four children tied together like a caravan, a sailor trying to make it with a street wise girl and getting nowhere, a woman saying goodbye to her Pullman porter husband and when he is out of sight embracing her lover with the good news - he's gone for a week! Into this hustle and bustle walk two hungry vagrants - Scrap Iron Scratch (Guy Kibbee) and young Chick Miller (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.). Scratch has retained his sense of humor but you can tell he has given up on life giving him a break. Chick is a quick thinking good looking fellow that in better times could have gone up any corporate ladder, but this is the Depression and it's all about your next meal and survival for these two and many others.

They, along with Ruth, have a one day adventure at the station that involves G-Men on the look-out for counterfeiters, the counterfeiters themselves, a violin-case stuffed with fake cash, and just for good measure, a villain in the classic sense - Dr. Bernardi that doesn't have anything to do with these other villains. He's a dirty old man with failing eyesight and a bad leg, yet he thinks he's up to physically overpowering a young healthy woman like Ruth? Despite Clint Eastwood's timeless true warning that a man's got to know his limitations, the villain still pursues her.

There's plenty of action in a place that is dangerous for any kind of action - Union Depot's train yards as locomotives exit and enter at high speed, and there's that great Depression slice of life that Warner Brothers was so good at during the pre-code years. Also look out for Frank McHugh in a small but important role as a man who in his drunken state can't tell a member of the armed forces from an information desk manager and whose forgetfulness in leaving his bag behind in the men's washroom - complete with new suit and shaving kit - is a piece of good luck for Chick. Or maybe it's ultimately bad luck? Watch and find out which. It will definitely hold your interest.


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