Review: ‘Union Depot’

A bing-bing, action melodrama [from a play by Joe Laurie Jr, Gene Fowler and Douglas Durkin].

A bing-bing, action melodrama [from a play by Joe Laurie Jr, Gene Fowler and Douglas Durkin].

Opening is a capital bit of technique, being a series of brief shots establishing the bustling serio-comic atmosphere that is characteristic of a big railway terminal – a series of thumbnail sketches of human types.

Into this bustling scene strides Chic (Douglas Fairbanks Jr), careless and carefree knight of the road and the rods, and his older hobo pal. The windfall of a forgotten handbag in the washroom gives Chic good clothes and a heaven-sent bankroll, and he starts out to roll ’em high and handsome. The too-easy flaps he throws aside with cynical brusqueness, but for Ruth (Joan Blondell), the stranded chorus girl, on her uppers and desperate, he falls with the complete sangfroid of a sophisticated drifter.

Meanwhile the police have been closing in on a counterfeiter gang. A few turns of fate and the spurious fortune is in Chic’s hands, just as the police begin to close in from all sides.

The limpid-eyed Blondell does an interesting piece of work in a role a little different from her wont. She’s a knowing young thing, but not the hard-boiled type and it is just that degree of feminine helplessness that makes her here romantically possible.

Union Depot


First National. Director Alfred E. Green; Screenplay Kenyon Nicholson, Walter De Leon, Kubec Glasmon, John Bright; Camera Sol Polito; Editor Jack Killifer


(B&W) Extract of a review from 1932. Running time: 66 MIN.


Douglas Fairbanks Jr Joan Blondell Guy Kibbee Alan Hale George Rosener David Landau

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