powered by AFI
DVDs from TCM Shop
Victoria Woodworth is a kindly elderly dowager who lives in a plush Manhattan brownstone. Although she frequently donates large sums of money to charities, the fact that she is actually penniless is concealed from her by her staff of faithful domestics. Her well-mannered but larcenous butler, Fitzwilliam (or Fitzwilly, as he is called by his friends), has been able to run Miss Vickie's household in the black and keep ahead of her charitable contributions by organizing the other servants into a ring of smalltime crooks. One day Miss Vickie hires a part-time secretary, Juliet Nowell, to help with the dictionary she is writing for people who can't spell. Although Juliet inevitably catches on to Fitzwilly's maneuvers, she finds herself too attracted to him to notify the police. Events reach a climax when one of Miss Vickie's over-generous contributions escapes Fitzwilly's attention, and drastic measures are called for to cover the deficit. With the reluctant help of Juliet, an elaborate plan is worked out to rob Gimbel's department store on Christmas Eve. Miss Vickie's staff joins in the caper, and everything goes off on schedule, with the haul amounting to $190,000. One small hitch develops, however, when Albert, the conscience-stricken footman, confesses to the police. Since Albert refuses to name his accomplices, Miss Vickie is summoned. Unperturbed, she volunteers to write Gimbel's a check for $190,000, thereby leaving the frustrated Fitzwilly with no choice but to deposit the stolen money in Miss Vickie's bank account. But all ends happily when Miss Vickie announces that she has sold her unique dictionary, much of which is an amusing biography of her late father, to a movie producer for $500,000.