Have You Heard About... Riding the Rails

… riding the rails during the Depression? In this fantastic documentary about Riding the Rails, it sure makes today’s tough economic times look like a picnic. This film won awards for Best Documentary of 1997 from both the Directors Guild of America and the Los Angeles Film Critics.

From 1929-1941, lots of kids were kicked out of their homes because of too many mouths to feed in the tough times. In Riding the Rails, the kids who survived, now adults, tell their tales of the danger, the hunger and what it took to survive. We think of the Depression as a lot of men out of work, standing in long bread lines for food. Well, a lot of girls rode the rails just like the guys, and it was a lot more dangerous for them. One of the good things about the Depression was the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and a lot of these rail riders were finally able to get the jobs they so desperately needed. One of my relatives was a rail rider and part of the CCC that helped to form the beautiful Starved Rock State Park near Utica, Illinois. This movie made his stories come alive for me. Riding the Rails makes you appreciate what you have today.


Reviewed by Terry (staff)