HIDEAWAY. RKO-Radio, 1937; Richard Rosson, director; Fred Stone, Emma Dunn, Marjorie Lord, J. Carroll Naish, William Corson, Tommy Bond. Shown at Cinecon 41, September 2005.

HIDEAWAY J. Carroll Naish

   A rural comedy-drama, with Fred Stone, a major stage performer who created the role of the Scarecrow in the original production of The Wizard of Oz (1903), heading the cast.

   Fred is a lazy farmer who takes in as boarders a crew of urban gangsters, led by J. Caroll Naish, in search of a cache of money from a bank robbery, believed to be hidden somewhere on the property formerly occupied by a confederate of the Naish gang. The film is populated by country boobs, with Stone’s family (Dunn, Lord, and Tommy Bond of “Our Gang” fame, who died recently), a relative island of sanity in the surrounding inanity.

HIDEAWAY J. Carroll Naish

   The film was chosen to introduce guest Marjorie Lord, who had a minor film career and is best known for her TV role as Danny Thomas’ wife in Make Room for Daddy.

   J. Carroll Naish walked off with the film, which depressed me for its misuse of Stone and its cheapening of the once-popular rural melodrama. A more charitable view is that it’s a routine, bottom-of-the-bill quickie, with some good performers doing their best to make a weak script palatable.