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Father Is a Bachelor

Father Is a Bachelor(1950)

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After Professor Mordecai Ford, the manager of a minstrel and medicine show, is arrested in a small Southern town, singer Johnny Rutledge waits for his release. In the meantime, Johnny meets May Chalotte, a little girl, and her brothers, January, February, and twin sisters, March and April. He quickly learns that the children's parents are dead. Jan explains that only he and Feb, the two oldest, know the truth and that they have not told anyone else for fear of being sent to an orphanage. Although Jan invites Johnny to stay with them, Johnny has no intention of being tied down. The next day, however, Johnny runs into Jan in town and ends up helping the boy cut wood. After Johnny accidentally burns May's only dress, he promises to make her another but, as he does not know how to sew, the dress is a failure. He then wakes the storekeeper and buys May a new dress with a gold watch that is his only remaining possession from his days running a paper mill. Later, Johnny returns to the cabin with food supplies, a shotgun for Jan and a new harmonica for Feb. Soon, however, the townspeople grow concerned about the children, and Prudence Millett visits to ask why the children have not been to school. Claiming to be the children's uncle, Johnny buys them new shoes and sends them to school. Then, after Jeffrey Gilland, a wealthy tobacco plantation owner, insults the twins, Johnny brawls with him and knocks him into the river. Gilland swears out a complaint against Johnny, which will be tried before Prudence's father, the judge. After the professor is released from jail, he offers to defend Johnny, but the judge disqualifies himself and the trial is postponed until the traveling judge arrives. In the meantime, Prudence posts Johnny's bond. Impressed by Feb's harmonica playing, Prudence offers Johnny a job working on her farm and gives the family a cow. Then Johnny is offered another job singing and waiting tables on Sunday at Jericho Schlosser's café. Plato Cassin, Gilland's lawyer, who is in love with Prudence, tells Johnny that he knows that the children's parents are dead and then suggests that he marry one of his elderly sisters, Genevieve and Adelaide, and rear the children in their house. Plato threatens to turn the children in if Johnny refuses, then tells Prudence the truth about the children's parents and implies that Johnny is taking care of the children in order to catch a rich wife. To save the children, Johnny agrees to Plato's scheme, and the following day, Prudence announces her engagement to Plato. A disillusioned Johnny tells the professor that he will leave town with him, but May overhears and arranges a going-away party for him. Meanwhile, Johnny dissuades Gilland's young son from running away. At the party, a grateful Gilland drops his charges against Johnny, and Prudence suggests that Johnny marry her, instead of Plato's sister Adelaide. Johnny tells Adelaide that he loves Prudence, and the two women flip a coin for him, using what Johnny believes is his two-headed coin. Prudence wins the toss, and Johnny later learns that she did not use the special coin, but won him honestly.