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HIDE-OUT (director: W.S. Van Dyke; screenwriter: story by Mauri Grashin/Frances Goodrich/Albert Hackett/Mauri Grashin; cinematographers: Ray June/Sidney Wagner; editor: Basil Wrangell; music: Dr. William Axt/Nacio Herb Brown; cast: Robert Montgomery (Jonathan ‘Lucky’ Wilson), Maureen O’Sullivan (Pauline Miller), Edward Arnold (Det. Lt. ‘Mac’ MacCarthy), Elizabeth Patterson (‘Ma’ Miller), Whitford Kane (Henry Miller), Mickey Rooney (William ‘Willie’ Miller), C. Henry Gordon (Tony Berrelli, the Boss), Virginia Verill (Blonde Singer), Louis Shuman (Henry Armetta), Jake Lillie (Herman Bing), Douglas Dumbrille (DeSalle), Harold Huber (Dr. Warner), Edward Brophy (Detective Britt); Runtime: 83; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Hunt Stromberg; MGM; 1934)
“Considerably helped by the fine supporting cast, who make this mush somewhat palatable.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

W.S. Van Dyke directs this humdrum old-fashioned crime drama that pits the evil ways of the big city with the wholesome charm of the country. Hide-Out is considerably helped by the fine supporting cast, who make this mush somewhat palatable. It’s based on a story by Mauri Grashin. It was remade in 1941 as I’ll Wait For You.

Lucky Wilson (Robert Montgomery) is a womanizing New York City racketeer, who lands a date with hot nightclub singer (Virginia Verill). On orders from crime boss Tony Berrelli, Lucky intimidates foreign-born nightclub owners Louis Shuman (Henry Armetta) and Jake Lillie (Herman Bing) to take out protection from the mob. Hard-nosed Lt. ‘Mac’ MacCarthy (Edward Arnold) has been after Lucky for years, and gets wind of the protection shakedown but can’t get the frightened nightclub owners to blab. The crime boss warns Lucky that the cops have issued an arrest warrant for him after he pulled a gun on another nightclub owner (Douglas Dumbrille) in a shakedown and he should hideout in the Catskills till things blow over. But when Lucky goes to his hotel to meet the blonde singer and ask her to go with him, the police arrive and he flees alone. The cops slightly wound him but he escapes in his car. Landing in a remote farm in Connecticut, he’s taking in with no questions asked by the old-fashioned Miller family. Mickey Rooney plays the Miller’s rambunctious son Willy, while pretty Pauline is played by Maureen O’Sullivan. After two weeks adjusting to the quiet routines of farm life, Pauline and Lucky fall in love. At that time Detectives MacCarthy and Britt arrive to arrest Lucky, and he comes clean and tells Pauline that he’s a criminal. Pauline keeps the secret from her nice folks and says she’ll wait for him, as the cops cart the redeemed Lucky away where he’s facing an 18-months jail sentence.

Hardly riveting, but screenwriters Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett keep the dialogue breezy and the pace fast. Especially noteworthy was the gorgeous shimmering photography.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”