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Union Depot (1932)

Travelers of different and varied backgrounds meet and interact on one night in a metropolitan train station and its environs.

Director:

Alfred E. Green

Writers:

Joe Laurie Jr. (based on play by) (as Laurie), Gene Fowler (based on play by) (as Fowler) | 5 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ... Chick Miller
Joan Blondell ... Ruth Collins
Guy Kibbee ... Scrap Iron Scratch
Alan Hale ... The Baron - aka Bushy Sloan
David Landau ... Kendall
George Rosener ... Dr. Bernardi
Earle Foxe ... Jim Parker
Frank McHugh ... The Drunk
Adrienne Dore ... Sadie
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Storyline

Among the travelers of varied backgrounds that meet and interact on one night at Union Depot, a metropolitan train station, are Chick and his friend Scrap Iron, both newly released from prison after serving time for vagrancy. Hungry and desperate for a break, Chick fortuitously comes across across a valise abandoned by a drunken traveler. In it he finds a shaving kit and a suit of clothes with a bankroll, which help transform the affable tramp into a dashing gent. After buying himself a meal, Chick seeks some female companionship among the many hustlers who walk the station. He propositions Ruth Collins, a stranded, out-of-work showgirl and takes her to the station's hotel. However, he quickly realizes she's not a streetwalker but another hard luck victim of the Depression. Touched by the Ruth's sincerity, he vows to help her buy a ticket to Salt Lake City, where a job awaits her. Scrap Iron is lucky too, stumbling across a wallet with a claim check discarded by a pickpocket. When ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 April 1932 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Caballero por un día See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

First National Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the play by Joe Laurie Jr., Gene Fowler and Douglas Durkin was unpublished, it was copyrighted on 3 December 1929. See more »

Quotes

Charles 'Chick' Miller: I bet you'd look like a million bucks in that dress. And I bet it don't even cost half that.
Ruth Collins: It's probably not my size.
Charles 'Chick' Miller: Don't be so sure.
Ruth Collins: Anyway, we came here to buy stockings.
Charles 'Chick' Miller: Nah, you'll get arrested, running around in nothing but stockings.
See more »

Soundtracks

The Kiss Waltz
(1930) (uncredited)
Music by Joseph A. Burke
First tune played on the jukebox
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Gentleman for a Day
14 September 2011 | by wes-connorsSee all my reviews

At a busy train station, handsome hobo Douglas Fairbanks Jr. (as Charles "Chic" Miller) finds an abandoned piece of luggage with a perfectly fitting suit and shave case. After changing and shaving, Mr. Fairbanks finds a wad of money in a suit pocket. He gets a good meal and decides to enjoy sex with a prostitute, mistaking pretty blonde chorus girl Joan Blondell (as Ruth Collins) for a train station whore. She's "been around," but is basically "decent," Ms. Blondell tells Fairbanks. Naturally, Fairbanks decides to help Blondell. She needed fare to get to Salt Lake City for a job, and is also being chased by a sleazy limping George Rosener (as Bernardi). Meanwhile, Fairbanks' scruffy companion Guy Kibbee (as Scrap Iron Scratch) finds a discarded claim check, which he gives Fairbanks to redeem - it's for a fiddle case full of cash...

Lurking around among the travelers are suspicious-looking Alan Hale (as Bushy Sloan) and agents David Landau and Earle Foxe. Everything comes together quite neatly and suspenseful, arguably with the exception of Blondell's pursuer, who could have been more fully examined. "Union Station" was reportedly inspired by the book "Grand Hotel" and came out before the movie. The setting is a rich playground for director Alfred E. Green, but it's not quite an "ensemble" of drama. Fairbanks is clearly the central figure and the film could have been titled "Gentleman for a Day" after one of his closing lines. He is excellent in the role, by the way. Co-star Blondell beautifully leads the Warner Bros. supporting cast of characters. The pace, performances and excitement levels head off some production creakiness. The ending is surprisingly effective.

******* Union Depot (1/14/32) Alfred E. Green ~ Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Blondell, Guy Kibbee, Alan Hale


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