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George B. Seitz
While running away from the police, playboy racketeer Jack 'Lucky' Wilson receives a non-life threatening bullet wound. Lucky manages to escape and drives as far as he can before passing out. Lucky is found by farmer Henry Miller, who believes Lucky is an innocent man who was randomly shot by gangsters. Lucky contacts his partner, Tony Berrelli, who sends the mob payrolled doctor to check on Lucky's condition. Tony believes this situation is perfect: the Miller farm is the perfect hide-out for Lucky from the police during Lucky's recuperation. Farm life is against Lucky's sensibilities, that is until he meets the pretty Miller daughter, Pauline. He immediately falls for her and she for him. Lucky needs to figure out how to reconcile his gangster background with the simple farm life, especially with Henry who has had his own bad experiences with racketeers, and with the police who are still after him. Written by
"Hide Out" starts out focusing on a group of racketeers operating in Manhattan. We are introduced to Jonathan Wilson, who seems to be a key man to the organization. Jonathan is clearly a ladies' man, but his luck is about to change after he is seen pursuing the glamorous Baby. In a hilarious scene, Jonathan, has secured a ring side table to watch the beautiful Baby singing, as part of a night club act. He proceeds to ask her for a date that same night, without the singer missing a beat while she accepts his invitation. That also proves to be his own undoing because the police is closing after him.
The second part of this comedy, directed with style by W. S. Van Dyke, concentrates in how Jonathan, who has been wounded when he tried to flee his pursuers, is found on the side of the road by a Connecticutt farmer, Henry Miller. He takes him home, where the whole family takes an interest in making him well. The lovely Pauline Miller, a young teacher, likes "Lucky", as Jonathan calls himself. Life in the farm works its magic in this man and transform him when he falls in love with the beautiful Pauline.
Of course, we all know that crime doesn't pay, so when at the end of the film we see Det. MacCarthy come knocking on the Miller's door, we realize that Lucky must pay for his evil ways of the past, although he makes us feel, because of his transformation and the love he feels for the young woman, that somehow, he has vindicated himself by wanting to stay in the farm forever.
Robert Montgomery's appearance in the film makes it even better than what it should have been. Mr. Montgomery is excellent in his scenes with Maureen O'Sullivan, who is perfect as the young Pauline Miller. Pauline Patterson and Whitford Kane are the older Millers, and Mickey Rooney, who was about thirteen, but looks much younger, makes a valuable contribution as Willie Miller. Edward Arnold, one of the best character actors working in films at that time, puts an appearance as Detective MacCarthy.
The film, with a running time of 81 minutes, has the right length and involves us in it. W. S. Van Dyke directed with usual sure hand and got a lot out his great cast in this delightful film.
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