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
Unlike the films of the period, "Union Depot" displays its credits at the end, not the beginning. See more »
I'm no pollyanna or sweet sixteen either. I've been around. I know what it's all about, but, gee, I always try to keep decent. There's a few things I draw the line on. Dr. Bernardi is one of them.
Charles 'Chick' Miller:
Go ahead. You got me interested. Then what'd he do?
Well, at first he said his eyes were bad, and he couldn't read, so he offered to pay me fifty cents an hour to read to him at night after work. Well, that was all right, but the kind of books he read...
Gee, I didn't know they printed them so...
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Douglas Fairbanks Jr. stars in "Union Depot" a pre-code effort from Alfred E. Green that follows the myriad stories found roaming within the hustle and bustle at a train station. Fairbanks is a shrewd tramp who weasels his way into interesting situations, which include getting into the suit of a rich man. Once he cleans up (quite nicely), he crosses paths with the gorgeous Joan Blondell, who plays a chorus girl desperate to get to Salt Lake City where a new gig awaits her if she can arrive in time.
"Union Depot" is a very busy, fast paced film full of fun coincidences, and those highly improbable circumstances that make classic Hollywood fare so refreshing. It never quite becomes the "Grand Hotel" in a train station it desired to be, but it's a nice place to spend a little over an hour nonetheless.
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