Feature Drama | 1930 | Sound | B/W
Drama set in Depression era America.
Man climbs stairs in tenement building. He sings to himself and knocks on number 308. Rat-tat-a-tat-tat Rat-tat. Nervous woman in pinafore or apron opens the door. He is a rent collector. She is late with the rent. Her husband is out seeking work and she has a relative coming round she is sure will be able to help them out. He agrees to give her two more days grace to pay the rent, and she smiles. Husband runs up stairs, but sees rentman coming down stairs and ducks around corner to avoid him. He peers round corner to check the coast is clear. Then he enters the apartment. He kisses his wife and washes his hands as she prepares food in a saucepan on hob. They discuss paying the rent and raising money to pay for dinner for her wealthy uncle. Man walks round living area and looks at standard lamp, small box and settles on a ukulele. She agrees he can sell or hawk or pawn it. At shop he is refused credit - 'not another bean, cash on the table' - so he produces ukulele from behind his back. Shopkeeper makes quite a show of looking at the miniature guitar and assessing its worth. He rejects a plump chicken for the scrawniest chicken (looks like a rubber chicken). Man complains - 'Hey, what's the idea' as he holds up the chicken, but the shopkeeper (with a european accent) says 'what am I running - a delicatessen or a pawn shop?'. Man takes chicken wrapped in paper.
Young man and elderly uncle sit at table. Younger lights cigar of older who asks him what he's trying to promote these days. Wife enters and holds her husband supportively. Uncle takes piece of paper from his pocket and suggests the young couple take over a plot of land he can't sell. They should try their hands at farming. He sketches a map.
Couple at gate of farm - he opens gate for her and they bow to each other graciously. They are polite but a little daunted and don't know what the windmill is for, nor whether they have seen a donkey or a mule. Inside there is no furniture and he is daunted, but she smiles. She gathers papers up. They sit by fire toasting bread on sticks. He shows her how to make a bed on the floor. They go to bed - attempt at twin beds, but she hears noises and asks him to move nearer which he does. Hays code interest.
Next morning he attempts to dig very hard ground with a spade. She has obviously been cleaning the house and appears at the door with a headscarf and an apron. She loudly Yoohoo's, and he more quietly calls back, obviously exasperated by digging. He vigourously tries to dig again and struggles in the baked dusty soil. He wanders over to a car parked on the other side of his fence. A man is trying to repair his car and tries to fit a jack / tyre iron under the wheel. Swedish accent of the immigrant American who is hoping to go to California with his family to pan for gold, having been thrown off his farm in Minnesota. They team up and both decide to work the farm. Ploughing the field with a boy helping the donkey walk in straight line as father guides the plough. Wife peels potatoes as he tends to fire. Two families sit round campfire with a big cooking pot and eat. Man demonstrates prowess with catapult and knocks over tin. Couple talk in bed - he suggests a co-operative community where money isn't so important - get a plumber, a carpenter and a stonemason to all work together and pool resources. So with the new spirit of shared resources they advertise. Signs read 'Wanted 10 Men With Trades to Live on this Beautiful Farm and share Work. Why Pay Rent? Drive In!'. Car drives into farm. Twenty cars of people are parked in a field. The owner tells the men to line up and asks them what their jobs are - hairdressers he can't use, but he shakes the pcarpenter warmly by the hand. The man is disconcerted by one man who says he will drive the tractor. Doesn't know how to answer the man who is an undertaker.
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