28 June 2006 | Calaboss
"Are those the only clothes you kids have?" "No, we have hats!"
TCM to the rescue again with another little gem from the "You Won't See This Anywhere Else" vault. From 1938, this is one of those films that has nothing to really recommend it, but is not offensive either. It can only be shown on TCM because no advertiser is going to pay money to put commercials on during its showing.
Mickey Rooney plays one of the adopted poor kids of a rich actress who only wants them for the good PR it will give her. (Will she come around for a happy ending? Hey, it was the Depression, what do you think?) This is some early Mickey from about the time he started his Andy Hardy phase. He's charming enough, as are the other actors. The writing is OK, as is the direction, but while everyone tries, the movie just plods along trying to make everyone feel good.
From late in the Depression, everyone in the film is depicted as either extremely rich, or extremely poor. But everyone has a hat! It was like the law in the 30's that everyone had to wear a hat when outdoors. Men, women, kids, cops, chauffeurs, milkmen, dockworkers, it didn't matter, they had to wear a hat. One line in the film has the rich adoptive Mom asking her new poor kids, "Are those the only clothes you kids have?" And Rooney answers, "No, we have hats!"
If you appreciate the old potboiler films of less than 90 minutes duration, you'll certainly be able to sit through this one, as it is better than many of its type. If you were raised on Star Wars films, you'll probably hate it.
Well, I have to go. Where's my hat?