Too thin a plot trying to cover entirely too much area is a handicap to this screen adaptation of Walter D. Edmonds’ novel Rome Haul [and the play by Frank B. Elser and Marc Connelly], of the Erie canal.
The plot proper is very simple. Molly (Janet Gaynor), cook on a canal boat, and bred in the belief that physical prowess is the only thing that counts and that all farmers are cravens, falls in love with Dan Harrow (Henry Fonda), who is driving a canal team to earn the money for the purchase of a farm.
Gaynor is given a part which permits her to get away from her sometimes too sweet assignments. She’s a forthright young woman in this, and she plays the part extremely well. Fonda, as the farmer, is youthfully manly and shows nice personality, but he is made to dress as no York state farmer or canaler ever did. Charles Bickford, on the other hand, looks like the men who used to string along the Erie and the Champlain canals. Slim Summerville, out of his usual type of part, plays smoothly and with effect as a driver.