A young woman is on trial for murder. In flashback, we learn of her struggles to overcome poverty as a teenager -- a mistaken arrest and prison term for shoplifting and lack of employment ... See full summary »
The saga of Tom Holmes - a man of principles - from the Great War to the Great Depression. Will he ever get a break? His war heroics earn fame and a medal for someone else, and his wounds ... See full summary »
William A. Wellman
Mary, a poor farm girl, meets Tim just as word comes that war has been declared. Tim enlists in the army and goes to the battlefields of Europe, where he is wounded and loses the use of his... See full summary »
Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams
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
The surviving print, shown on TCM, is the edited 1938 (post-Production Code) re-release, with redesigned title credits. See more »
No female has to starve in a town like this.
Have you ever been out of work for a whole year?
I been outta work all my life. Besides, the unemployment situation's got nothin' to with women. Didja ever think of that?
Yeah, I thought of it.
Oh, I s'pose the river would be better than that.
Yeah, I thought of that, too.
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As other reviewers have noted, this is an unjustly neglected Depression-era film. Directed by Frank Borzage (two Oscars) and written by Jo Swerling (Leave Her to Heaven, The Westerner, Lifeboat, etc.), it is a tough-minded, well-structured and -realized move about denizens of a New York City shantytown. They're grifters, beggars, and women forced into prostitution, but they're a community of people both good and bad, with loyalties as complex as any group's.
Perhaps primary among this movie's many admirable qualities is the contrast between Spencer Tracy's character, Bill, and Loretta Young's Trina. He tough-talking, physically aggressive, and evidently fearless-- but Bill is not the character who gives this film its steely sense of survival. While he blusters, Trina actually hangs tough (if that term can be applied to a character so ladylike). Her devotion to him is obvious, and complete. When she becomes pregnant, she says she will raise it herself if he wants to leave, or "I'll even give up the kid if you'll only be happy." Such is the dignity of Loretta Young's performance (at age 20) as a quite simple character, that she seems neither weak or dependent, but rather a woman who recognizes happiness when she finds it, and wants nothing more.
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