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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
"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on December 1, 1941 with Spencer Tracy reprising his film role. 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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I generally find Loretta Young hard to take, too concerned with her looks and too ladylike in all the wrong ways. But in this lyrical Frank Borzage romance, and even though she's playing a low-self-esteem patsy who puts up with entirely too much bullying from paramour Spencer Tracy, she's direct and honest and irresistible. It's an odd little movie, played mostly in a one-room shack in a Hooverville, unusually up-front about the Depression yet romantic and idealized. Tracy, playing a blustery, hard-to-take "regular guy" who would be an awful chauvinist and bully by today's standards, softens his character's hard edge and almost makes him appealing. There's good supporting work from Marjorie Rambeau and Glenda Farrell (who never got as far as she should have), and Jo Swerling's screenplay is modest and efficient. But the real heroes are Borzage, who always liked to dramatize true love in lyrical close-up, and Young. You sort of want to slap her and tell her character to wise up, she's too good for this guy, but she's so dewy and persuasive, you contentedly watch their story play out to a satisfying conclusion.
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