12 million Americans are out of work. Trina is homeless and hungry when Bill takes her under his wing, showing her a squatter's camp where she can live. She's soon in love with him, making a castle for him inside a shack; but he's bluff, gruff, and a "bindlestiff," a guy who can't stay put. When Trina tells Bill she's pregnant, he's ready to jump a freight train and move on, but first he wants to leave Trina with some money, so he partners up with Bragg, the camp's louse (who's been eyeing Trina), to rob a toy store. He's shot and the cops are closing in: does he have any options? Written by
Loretta Young and Spencer Tracy began a long, tumultuous affair that lasted about a year. Young ended the relationship when she wasn't granted absolution because she was dating a married Catholic. See more »
[holding a gun]
You ain't gonna squawk. . .for the simple reason, stiffs don't squawk.
Flossie, don't point that at me. You're drunk.
If somebody was to search the whole country. . .the whole world, they couldn't find two more useless, more no-good people than you and me.
You wouldn't commit murder?
Oh, this ain't murder. . . .This is just housecleanin'. Now now, Bragg, stop your shakin'. It won't hurt; you'll be where you belong. And, me. . .
[she pulls the trigger]
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Unfortunately, this film has long been unavailable (as other posters have noted), but this is one of the essential dramas of the Great Depression, a lyrical and touching drama of love set in a shanty-town. It features performances by Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young that are just about the finest of their careers, and it's a surpassing example of how the director, Frank Borzage, was able to create an almost fairy-tale aura around elements of poverty, crime, and horrendous social inequity, which just proves that how truly romantic and spiritual his talents were. This film shows how love survives amidst squalor and desperate need, and it is totally life-affirming. This is a real masterpiece of the period, and is a movie that deserves to be more widely known.
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