Romance / Drama
2005 / 86 minutes
In the Depression of the 1930s, the young widow Eliza Wyatt is trying to help her father-in-law keep their orange farm going. But when he dies suddenly of a heart attack, Eliza doesn’t know what to do. She has two children to support, and her only other help is her Aunt Batty. But between the four of them, there’s just too much work, too little time, and too pressing a deadline, with a mortgage payment coming due.
Then along comes Gabe, a First World War veteran, wandering the rails and backroads of the country, heading away from his home, but towards nothing in particular. They can’t afford to pay him. But he ain’t looking for much more than a roof above his head.
Based on a Lynn Austin novel of the same name, this is a pretty typical Hallmark film, different from the others primarily in that it does have some Christian overtones. I liked this more than my wife, and I think that might have been the orange grove setting, and learning a little bit about how they brought the harvest in way back then.
Like many a Christian film, the source of hope and security in this film doesn’t seem to be God, but faith. Am I splitting hairs? I don’t think so. Even as God is referenced repeatedly – the family reads the Bible together, and Gabe leads them in a prayer – when anyone speak of the importance of “having faith,” it seems to be more about keeping up the positive self-talk than an encouragement to put their trust in the almighty Creator of the universe.
If you’re looking for a “safe” film, this fills that bill, but it isn’t a keeper. I picked this up on DVD for a couple bucks at the local Christian thrift store, I got my money’s worth, and now I’ll be donating it back. The trailer below hits the plot points, but I will note that the fast cuts, and the peppy music, might have you thinking Hidden Places is something other than a leisurely-paced film.