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The Law and the Lady

The Law and the Lady(1951)

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Crying Boy

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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In turn of the century London, ladies maid Jane Hoskins is wrongly accused of stealing diamond earrings from her shrewish employer, Lady Sybil Minden. As Inspector McGraw questions Jane, Nigel Duxbury reveals that he stole his sister-in-law's earrings as partial payment for the loss of his inheritance to his five-minute older twin brother, Lord Minden. Nigel negotiates a £200 severence for Jane, then invites her to an elegant restaurant. Jane reveals that she wants to use the money to live like a lady and marry well, and he lets her wear the earrings, which Minden gave to him. At dinner, Nigel is impressed by Jane's polished manners and ability to fleece fellow diner Sir Roland Epping out of one hundred pounds for a phony charity. Although Jane initially feels guilty, when Nigel proposes that they become partners, she agrees. In Monte Carlo, Jane, now calling herself Lady Loverly, easily tricks an elderly English colonel into losing money to Nigel at Chemin de fer . When the police later ask the pair to leave the country, Nigel offers to let Jane out of their agreement, but she stays with him. They eventually get to Shanghai, where the Chinese police become the latest to ask them to leave. Nigel proposes that they sail to San Francisco, where he plants stories about "Lady Loverly." Jane is flooded with invitations from social-climbing San Franciscans, but asks Mrs. Julia Wortin, a rough-hewn, but extremely wealthy widow, to tea. Julia, who is known for her generosity, gladly offers money to Jane's charity, then invites her for the weekend. Nigel, posing as "Hoskins," an unemployed butler, is hired by Julia on Jane's suggestion. A few days later, when Jane arrives at Julia's estate, Nigel tells her about Julia's necklace, which is kept under lock and key in the newly burglar-alarmed house. That night, Jane is attracted to Julia's neighbor, Juan Dinas. Julia thinks the flirtation is romantic, but Nigel is jealous and banker Tracy Collins, another houseguest, wants Jane for himself. Just before she goes to bed, Jane asks Julia for the key to her safe, for her diamond earrings, but does not steal the necklace. Next day, Juan takes Jane to his hacienda and proposes. Juan's grandmother, Princess Margarita, a niece of the King of Spain, is cordial, then secretly looks at a book on English nobility and finds that Jane is not who she seems. After she angrily tells Juan, Juan takes Jane home, but does not withdraw his proposal. Later, Jane tells Nigel that she is probably in love with Juan and wants to marry him. Nigel wishes her well, and agrees that they have grown too fond of Julia to steal her necklace, then passionately kisses Jane, prompting her to give him the earrings so he will have some money. When Nigel tells her that he pawned the real earrings a long time ago, Jane feels responsible for his situation and says she will leave with him in the morning. That night, Jane reconsiders and steals the necklace from Julia's bedroom safe. When Jane goes to the balcony, she sees Nigel and throws the necklace to him, but is observed by Juan and the groomsman Panchito, who detains Nigel while Juan climbs up to Jane's room. Juan confronts Jane about her deception and theft, which she freely admits. He tries to kiss her, but accidentally sets off the burglar alarm, which immediately summons Julia and her guests. Juan keeps quiet about the necklace and says that he entered Julia's room uninvited. Jane then tells Julia about stealing her necklace and apologizes, after which Nigel arrives, saying that he is the mastermind. He and Jane offer to leave immediately, but Collins wants to have them arrested until Nigel reveals that he has a proposal letter that Collins foolishly wrote to Jane naming Juan, Julia and the other houseguests as scoundrels. Not wanting to be made a public fool, Collins offers $15,000 for the letter, but Jane refuses and asks everyone to leave. A few moments later, Nigel and Juan both overhear Jane crying. The next morning, Jane is packed to leave, alone, but on Julia's insistence stays for breakfast. Nigel and Juan then arrive, saying that they have decided Jane should stay and marry Juan. She is irritated that they have not consulted her, and when Nigel gives her the earrings, saying that they are real, she angrily denounces him. As they argue, Juan leaves, knowing Jane and Nigel are in love. Nigel then promises to pay back all of their victims, even if he has to go to work. Just then, the sheriff arrives, accompanied by McGraw, who reveals that Epping is pressing charges against them, but Lord Minden has died, thus making Nigel the new lord. Jane gives Julia the earrings as a gift and she and Nigel leave with McGraw, who says that they won't need to be "away" for very long.