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Two Smart People

Two Smart People(1946)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Carrying $500,000 in stolen government certificates, which are stashed in the binding of his favorite cookbook, master confidence artist Ace Connors meets with businessman Dwight Chadwick at a posh Beverly Hills hotel to discuss an oil investment deal. Chadwick's sultry friend, Ricki Woodner, a confidence artist working a phony art racket, joins the men at their poolside rendezvous and tries to sell Chadwick on some paintings she claims were smuggled out of Europe. Ricki wastes little time in souring Chadwick on his deal with Ace, to which Ace responds by identifying one of her paintings as a fake. Following the meeting, Ace receives word that detectives in New York are closing in on his bond scheme, and that a deal is being made in which he is to serve a five-year sentence in Sing Sing penitentiary in exchange for his voluntary return to New York to face trial. Assigned to escort Ace back to New York is detective Bob Simms, Ace's inept but persistent nemesis of many years. Ace accepts the terms of the Sing Sing deal after a menacing visit from Fly Feletti, his former partner, who is seeking his share of the half million-dollar bond deal. While Simms keeps a close eye on Ace on the train trip to New York, Ace decides to make the five-day journey as pleasurable as possible, stopping to enjoy all attractions along the way. Ricki, unable to pass up the opportunity to get her hands on the stolen bonds, follows Ace onto the train and later joins him and Simms, whom she thinks is a fellow criminal, in a toast to "crime." Ricki quickly intrigues Ace, and, after she tells him that they belong together, the two kiss. The following day, Ricki learns that Simms is a police officer when she catches him searching through Ace's belongings, looking for the hidden bonds. Ricki also learns that Ace is on his way to Sing Sing, a fact that he wishes to keep a secret from her. Simms and Ricki are joined in their quest for the stolen bonds by Feletti, who is also traveling on the New York bound train. Feletti blackmails Ricki, coercing her to become his "partner" in the search for the certificates. Ace, meanwhile, has fallen in love with Ricki, and when the train makes a brief crossing into Mexico, he buys her a pin from a curio shop. Soon after arriving in New Orleans, Ace and Ricki rent costumes and get swept up in the Mardi Gras celebrations taking place in the city. Ace, dressed as a pirate, leaves his cookbook at the costume store, and manages to give Simms the slip. Ricki joins Ace on a merry escapade through New Orleans, and later suggests that they both flee to South America. Taking Ricki into his confidence, Ace tells her where he hid the money, and she is gone moments later. Ace follows Ricki back to the costume store, where he watches as she takes the cookbook and gives Feletti the slip. Feletti catches up to Ace in the store, however, and pulls a gun on him and demands his $500,000. Simms fires a shot at Feletti, killing him, and then handcuffs Ace. At the train station, Ace is surprised to find Ricki there, waiting to return his cookbook and bid him farewell. Ricki splits the miniature boots from the pin Ace gave her in Mexico and indicates that she will wait for him.