Watch Wild Boys of the Road putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 7.5/10 from APPROVED votes
||Release: 07 Oct 1933 /
||Genre: Adventure, Drama
||Director: William A. Wellman,
||Stars: Adventure, Drama
||Synopsis: In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.
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Watch Wild Boys of the Road - Alternative Versions.
Mention the Great Depression and most folks draw a blank or nod off.
After all, who wants to be reminded of soup kitchens, dour old men, and
dust bowls. Seventy years later and it's a closed book, forgotten and
unlamented. Now and again, however, that dusty book needs re-opening.
Because, in spite of the best efforts of the best of us, the past is
not alway past. This edgy little Warner Bros. production provides a
brief picture of the youth of that day, a harrowing story of survival
amidst economic collapse.
The movie wouldn't work so well without the contrast the first
half-hour provides. Darro and friends are typical middle-class teens,
fun-loving and care-free. It's a world of proms, necking parties, and
harmless pranks. Then without warning things change. Why they change is
never really explained which is the way it should be. For most kids
knew nothing of stock markets and dis-investment. They only knew that
suddenly Dad doesn't go to work anymore and mom cries a lot, bills pile
up, and no one gets a job, anywhere. Middle-class privilege plunges
into no-income poverty, and Darro and his buddy do like millions of
others. They hop a freight, hoping the next town, the next state, the
next someplace, will give them a chance to make a living. What they get
instead are private armies, battalions of cops, and a forest of billy
clubs. They're driven on to the next jurisdiction and the next
welcoming committee. Nobody wants the footloose unemployed adding to
their own local problems. Maybe the attitude's not charitable, but it
makes practical sense.
The battles atop freight cars and in hobo jungles are expertly filmed
and dynamically staged, a stark panorama of social desperation. These
scenes make up the movie's centerpiece. If anything they're mildly
presented compared to the actual blood-letting that surrounded the
desperate and up-rooted. Union organizing was especially bloody and
bitterly fought-- an explosive topic Hollywood has only timidly touched
on over the years. Nonetheless, the nail-biting episode on the train
track stands-in for at least some of the actual pain and suffering
caused by those crisis years.
Darro may be small, but he's energetic, something of a younger Cagney.
His determined spirit to keep going no matter what is convincing, and
helps drive the others on. I expect it also had that effect on
audiences of the day. I like the way director Wellman suggests the kids
can set up their own constructive community, if given half-a-chance.
Some reviewers complain about the final scene with the understanding
judge. Yes, it is pretty contrived, but it wasn't unrealistic given the
package of New Deal reforms then in the works. If those measures didn't
exactly solve the economic crisis (only WWII did that), they at least
offered hope that the problems would no longer be kicked down the road
to the next jurisdiction.
Wild Boys may not be the most honest or best movie on those tumultuous
years. Still, it does furnish a provocative and entertaining glimpse.
In any event, some books should not remain closed. After all, who knows
when the unfortunate history of that era may again repeat itself.
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