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Union Depot (1932)

Unrated | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 18 April 1932 (Sweden)
Travelers of different and varied backgrounds meet and interact on one night in a metropolitan train station and its environs.



(based on play by) (as Laurie), (based on play by) (as Fowler) | 5 more credits »
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Complete credited cast:
Chick Miller
Scrap Iron Scratch
The Baron - aka Bushy Sloan
David Landau ...
Dr. Bernardi
Earle Foxe ...
The Drunk


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


Comedy | Drama | Romance


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

18 April 1932 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Caballero por un día  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Unlike the films of the period, "Union Depot" displays its credits at the end, not the beginning. See more »


Charles 'Chick' Miller: You aren't really a well kept woman till you've accepted at least three pair.
[of stockings]
Charles 'Chick' Miller: And a bottle of Lily of the Valley.
See more »


The Kiss Waltz
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph A. Burke
First tune played on the jukebox
See more »

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User Reviews

two hobos think they've hit the mother lode
15 September 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Union Depot is a 1932 precode film starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Guy Kibbee, and Joan Blondell.

Chick (Fairbanks) and Scrap Iron Scratch (Kibbee) are two hobos during the Depression, hungry and hanging around Union Depot to beg for money and look for opportunities to get money.

The first opportunity comes in the form of a conductor's uniform hanging in the mens room, which Chick steals by sticking a pole through the mens room window. Then he gets a real windfall - a man (Frank McHugh) leaves his suitcase in the mens room. Chick chases him to return it, but the man is gone. Inside is everything Chick will need to look like the handsome man that he is: a suit, shaving cream, shaver. He emerges from the mens room looking great. He also has money that was in the suit pocket.

He goes to a diner and orders soup to nuts and racks up a huge bill of $1.75. I can't believe the prices in those days. He sees a forlorn looking young woman in the station. It's Ruth (Joan Blondell) who needs $64 to get to Salt Lake City to join a show that she was in before she broke her ankle. And she'll do anything to get it. That's fine with Chick. He takes her to a private dining room and makes a pass. She tries, but she can't go through with it. She finally tells Chick her full story, that besides needing to get to the show, she's running from a creep that lived in her rooming house. Chick believes her and says he'll buy her ticket.

Somewhere along the line, he meets up with Scratch, who has found a wallet with a pawn ticket. The pawn ticket is for a violin in a case. Chick takes it to the pawnbroker across the way. While the pawnbroker is taking care of another customer, Chick opens the violin and finds $13,000 -- the equivalent of nearly a quarter of a million dollars today. Frankly, I could use the $13,000 now, and it's over 80 years later.

Chick hides the violin case and leaves Scratch in charge of it and takes some of the money with him. And there the fun begins.

This is a fast-moving, entertaining story that leaves one with a tinge of sadness. I am a huge fan of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. I think he was a very underrated actor. He's marvelous here, as effective as a hobo as he is as a dapper gentleman. Both his comedy and dramatic work are marvelous. Joan Blondell is adorable -- so pretty and sweet, but with an edge that shows that the character has been through hard times.

Precode has a more liberal view of sex. People have it, for one thing. And you don't have to be married. Fairbanks is fairly cavalier about it and angry when Blondell doesn't come across.

Very good movie - if you see that it's on TCM, don't miss it. I would have liked a less downbeat ending, but hey, it was the Depression.

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