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Her Cardboard Lover

Her Cardboard Lover(1942)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Songwriter Terry Trindale has a serious crush on Consuelo Croyden, a woman he sees every night at a Palm Beach casino. Despite his bribes to be seated next to Consuelo, Terry has never approached her and is running out of money. One night, though, he finally blurts out that he loves her. Seeing her shock, he is at first embarrassed but then asks if she could ever fall in love with him. She firmly says no and advises him not to cling so if he wants a woman to return his love. After Consuelo goes to the gambling tables, Tony Barling arrives, but because he is not in evening clothes he cannot enter the casino. When Terry learns that Tony wants to give a note to Consuelo, he volunteers to take it to her, but as soon as Tony leaves, he tears it up. Terry then watches the melancholy Consuelo win at chemin de fer and becomes so enraptured that he yells out "Banco" to play against her. After she wins again, he accrues a $3,200 gambling debt to her. He pleads poverty, and she feels sorry for him, but when he gives her the pieces of Tony's note, she becomes very flustered and asks him to reassemble it. She then requests that he come to her house and declares that she will hire him as her secretary to work off the debt over the next ten weeks. Explaining that his duties will be to assume the role of her "cardboard lover," she asks for his written promise to pretend to be her fiancé, then explains that Tony is her former fiancé, with whom she broke off because of the madness of their love-hate relationship. She demands that Terry always come between Tony and herself and orders him to prevent her--at any cost--from going to Tony. Just then Tony drives up to her house and Consuelo asks Terry to hide on the patio. Although she is cold to Tony, he does not believe that she now loves someone else. Terry then comes in, acting very affectionate and possessive. Tony recognizes him from the casino and is suspicious, and when Terry goes to get ice, Tony tells Consuelo that he knows this is an act and begs her to come to a friend's yacht before they sail in the morning. After Tony leaves, Consuelo dismisses Terry and quickly packs her bags to meet Tony. Terry is waiting at her front door, though, reminding her of her own words, "And if I try to go to him, hold me back." Four weeks later, Terry is still on duty, much to the delight of Consuelo's maid Eva, who hates Tony, but Consuelo continues her fruitless quest to shake Terry. Even Chappie Champagne, Terry's partner, cannot convince him to come with him to New York to sell their new song, "I Dare You," which they have been composing on Consuelo's piano. After Chappie leaves, she pretends that she is cured of Tony and offers to cancel the rest of Terry's debt so he can join Chappie. Terry then leaves, saying he is going to the airport. A few moments later, Consuelo gets a call from Tony saying that he is going away, but she convinces him to come to her house and sends the disgusted Eva to bed. Strangely, Tony asks her to change her dress, wear a negligee and unlatch the door for him. She then waits, but it is Terry who arrives, admitting that it was he who called, disguising his voice to sound like Tony, and then says that he now realizes she would throw away all self-respect for Tony. When Tony actually does arrive, she makes Terry hide and tells Tony that Terry is not really her lover. At that moment, though, Terry comes out of her dressing room wearing her satin pajamas and gets into bed. An embarrassed Consuelo tries to make Terry tell the truth, but he refuses and Tony leaves. When Terry goes to change, Consuelo locks him in the bathroom, but he has already left and is waiting in the hall. She slaps him, but he again reminds her of her instructions to keep her from Tony at any cost. During an argument, Consuelo says that his songs are "tripe," but soon apologizes and admits that she is hopelessly in love with Tony. When even her offer of a kiss will not dissuade Terry, she simply calls Tony and says she has kicked Terry out and is leaving immediately to see him. Terry then threatens to jump out the window, but his plot is unsuccessful. Finally Terry goes to his hotel, where Tony is also staying. After meeting in the elevator, the two men begin a wild fight, which is eventually broken up by the police. During their hearing on charges of disturbing the peace and assaulting a police officer, Consuelo shows up very angry with Terry, but when Chappie arrives with tickets to New York and money from the sale of their song to pay for Terry's fine, she begins to realize her true feelings. After Tony finally proposes to her, Consuelo suddenly realizes that she no longer loves him, but Terry. She goes after Terry but he refuses to stop and heads to the airport, where he is arrested on a charge of grand larceny. In court, Consuelo comes forward and admits that she invented the charges because she had to stop Terry from leaving. Finally, realizing that they are both in love, Consuelo and Tony kiss.