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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?


Although the play by Joe Laurie Jr., Gene Fowler and Douglas Durkin was unpublished, it was copyrighted on 3 December 1929. See more »


Jean: [Kisses Society Woman on the lips] Goodbye... I'll wire you when I get to Reno.
Society Woman Saying Goodbye to Jean: There's a hotel clerk there who's really quite charming. His name's Rye. Give him my love.
Jean: Not me! I'm cured of giving men love.
See more »


Beyond the Blue Horizon
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting and W. Franke Harling
Played as background music at the end and during the end credits
See more »

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User Reviews

Very entertaining in a rough and salacious way
1 January 2007 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film is highly entertaining and will probably keep your interest throughout, though it is far from cerebral or polished. Instead, it's a very good example of a drama spiced up with liberal doses of sex and violence during the "pre-Code era". Unlike a film that would have been made only a few years later, this film abounds with sleazy characters and plot lines as well as "colorful dialog" that would have been taboo once the more rigid and widely enforced Production Code was enacted due to pressure from low ticket sales and public outrage. As for me, I actually love to watch these films because they dare to be so different and because they are the antithesis of what people today think older films were.

So what were some of the pre-Code plot elements? First, the "hero" of the film, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., is a hobo who steals, lies and even slaps around a woman who he thinks is a prostitute! In addition, subplots involve a dirty old man who is addicted to having a nice young lady (Joan Blondell) read him dirty stories, a woman who walks her husband to the train where he's a porter and leaves with her lover who is just getting off this same train, pickpockets, counterfeiters, attempted murder and actual prostitution! You name a sin, and it's probably alluded to in some way during the course of this breezy film! Now despite all these sleazy elements, the film is surprisingly well-written and integrates all these subplots into a fine coherent picture. TCM described the movie as being inspired by the book GRAND HOTEL (the movie of this book actually came out after UNION DEPOT) and while this is certainly true, this film also features far more subplots and pre-Code taboos than the film version of GRAND HOTEL--which was a lot more polished and refined. In many ways, the sophisticated GRAND HOTEL (from the more polished studio, MGM) is more like an upper-crust version of this film and UNION DEPOT is more a film for the common man and woman--and so it's not surprising it's a Warner Brothers film.

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