A farcical comedy, crazy and warmhearted, real escapism with some genuine laughs
Hitch Hike Lade (1935)
A true Depression era small-budget film with some laughs and goofiness on a trip from New York to California. The only familiar face (to me) was the leading young woman Mae Clarke, who is chipper and realistic and always fun. But the title character is an old English woman who has arrived in the U.S. to find her son.
So, penniless and ready for adventure, but clueless about nearly everything, she stumbles and bumbles her way West, meeting some friendly and peculiar sorts along the way. This is largely made of unknowns, produced by Republic Pictures (not a major or minor studio) and directed by Aubrey Scotto, as unknown as directors get. It's fast, fun, and often really funny. There are some silly actors doing silly things, but at its heart its warm and feelgood and not at all bad. By the end you are cheering the gang along and hoping for the silly improbable conclusion you can see coming.
As an extra, the editor here is Joseph Lewis, who went on to do a bunch of great B movies like "Gun Crazy" in the 1950s. It's better made than you might expect, and it has some great scenes that are straight from the middle of the Great Depression--not clichés of hardship, but other kinds of clichés of survival with no money.
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