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Slim (1937)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 24 June 1937 (USA)
A veteran lineman takes an awe-struck young farmer under his wing, but problems arise when he introduces him to his occasional girlfriend, a pretty nurse.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Red Blayd
...
Slim
...
Stumpy
...
Cally
J. Farrell MacDonald ...
Pop
Dick Purcell ...
Tom
Joe Sawyer ...
Wilcox (as Joseph Sawyer)
Craig Reynolds ...
Gambler
...
Wyatt Ranstead
...
Stumpy's Girl
Harland Tucker ...
Lafe Garrettson (as Harlan Tucker)
Joe King ...
Steve (as Joseph King)
...
Al
Archie Robbins ...
Joe Braithewaite (as James Robbins)
Henry Otho ...
Mitch
Edit

Storyline

Farmer slim joins a group of workers who are building power lines. Foreman Red teaches him all he needs and soon they become friends. When they are fired because they protected their boss in a case when another worker died by falling from a mast because he was drunk, they go to Chicago, where they spend their money and visit Red's girl friend, Cally. Cally, who Red doesn't want to marry because he doesn't want to make her a widow if he has an accident - also falls in love with Slim. On another construction site, Slim is stabbed by a personal foe of Red, when he accused him of sabotaging a ladder Red was going to use to 100 feet. Cally, a nurse, comes to the hospital near the construction site and gets Slim back on his feet. Cally proposes marriage if Slim stops working, but he refuses and joins Red on a dangerous job, keeping the power during a blizzard on the northern Eastcoast. Working next to 88,000 volt power line means taking a deadly risk, as Cally, Red and Slim know.... Written by Stephan Eichenberg <eichenbe@fak-cbg.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They're Two of a Kind Twentieth Century Cavaliers Taking Their Romance on the Run! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

24 June 1937 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alta Tensão  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Davison Clark (Sam), Brenda Fowler (Miss Ferredice) and Tom Wilson (Gambler) are all in studio records for those roles, but were not seen in the movie. See more »

Goofs

When O'Brien and Fonda are driving through the desert, Fonda's wearing a brown hat. but the longer shots of his double shows a white hat. See more »

Quotes

Clarence 'Stumpy' Stump: I always said a lineman was nothing but a grunt that lost his good sense, and now you gone and done it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fonda on Fonda (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Boy Meets Girl
(1936) (uncredited)
Music by Sammy Fain
Played when Cally shows Slim how to dance
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A 1937 Masterpiece - Henry Fonda's Finest Movie!
6 June 2006 | by (Oregon USA) – See all my reviews

It's easy to see why this was one of Henry Fonda's favorite roles. I personally think there is more action and entertainment packed into this one short film than the award winning "Grapes of Wrath", filmed with Fonda just a few years later.

Fine acting performances all around take the viewer into the waning years of the Great Depression with an authenticity of characters, time, and place. The cinematography and the period details are simply fantastic.

Add to all of this the pure poetry of the dialog exchanges between many of the characters. It's as lyrical as anything written by Shakespeare. The character "Stumpy" for instance begins almost every sentence with either a variation on a song "Mother said to Mabel"... or his own unique way of expressing himself. "You think that old Stump boy would...".

Even the often quoted phrase of Slim "That's what's the matter." rings true as heroic in every sense for our protagonist.

Also, it is of great interest to see how people were treated in the workplace back in this era. Can you imagine your boss literally kicking you in your rear end when he thought you were slacking off or distracted? This was a time when men were desperate for jobs and there was no OSHA, EEOC, or sympathetic human resources director. After seeing this nostalgic view, one is almost tempted to wonder what it would like to give your contemporary office co-workers a sharp kick in the rear when they slump off during the a project or show up for work late.

Accurately depicted in the movie... During the 1930's if you messed up at work because you were drunk the night before, you were simply fired. That's it, pick up your last check and hit the road! If a man was killed or injured in an industrial accident, he was simply replaced with minimal fuss and ceremony. It may sound cruel by today's standards, but it served a purpose back then.

So fine is this movie that I must further elaborate on the cinematography and the set decoration. Where else do you get actual 150 foot steel electrical towers under construction filmed with racing steam engine trains in the background highballing along the right-of-way? Under the expert direction of Ray Enright, the viewer actually imagines the feeling of the bone-chilling cold depicted outside the boarding house where the linemen crew is housed. One can almost taste Stumpy's "eating potatoes" on the table. If you are old enough, you remember that there once were women who behaved exactly like the lady who plays the boarding house manager. A masterful performance.

The hotwire substation at 88000 volts is the scariest set since Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory. Don't miss it. A must see!


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