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A producer on a losing streak accepts backing from a would-be star with no talent.
On a train bound for New York City, Willard Samson, a theatrical producer who has sought solace in drink after a string of flops on Broadway, sits inebriated, accompanied by Stone, the man who has been hired by wealthy divorcée Donna Davis to bring him to New York. After sobering Samson up in a turkish bath, Stone takes him to Donna's apartment. There, Donna lovingly leafs through the pages of her scrapbook, which memorializes her career as a chorus girl in one of Samson's shows. The ambitious Donna then coolly explains that she married an eccentric millionaire for the sole purpose of winning a fat divorce settlement, which she intends to use to promote her career. Donna then offers Samson the proceeds from her divorce to produce a star vehicle for her. Samson agrees, and the two celebrate by attending an outdoor concert. There, Ken Douglas, a reporter from the Morning Bulletin , is interviewing members of the audience when he spots Donna and Samson in the crowd. Samson, furious at the scathing review the Bulletin gave his last show, lashes out at Ken, his former press agent, breaking his camera and causing them both to be arrested for disturbing the peace. As he is being released on bail, Ken meets Jeanie Maxwell, who came to the police station to report her purse missing. Learning that Jeanie is in a hurry to catch her train back to her home in Altoona, Pennsylvania, Ken offers to drive her to the station, and after she narrowly misses the train, he invites her to dinner. When Ken discovers that Jeanie, a music teacher, aspires to be a composer, he offers to help promote her career and secures a room for her at the theatrical boardinghouse owned by Larry Martin, a curmudgeonly ex-vaudeville promoter. There, Jeanie meets fellow lodgers pianist Hazel Smith; Lily, a ballerina; and musician Dan Howard. Larry refuses to accept another non-paying boarder until Jeanie performs the songs she has written and Larry, impressed, gives her a room. The next day, Ken, who has been fired from his newspaper job, visits Samson's office to demand payment for his camera, and Donna eagerly welcomes him and offers him a job as her press agent. After she leaves the office, Ken commiserates with Samson over Donna's woeful lack of talent. Recognizing the need to compensate for Donna's inability to sing, dance or act, Ken recruits Larry's boarders to perform in the show and introduces Jeanie to Samson. Impressed by her abilities, Samson dreams of eliminating Donna and replacing her with Jeanie. At rehearsal, Donna stumbles over her own feet and refuses to follow the choreographer's instructions. Frustrated, Samson is about to quit when Ken suggests they can deflect attention from Donna's lack of talent by building a publicity campaign around her activities as an outdoors woman. When Ken tells Samson that he is taking Donna to Hobbes's Landing for a photo shoot, the producer conceives of a plan to eliminate his star. Posing as an FBI agent, Samson phones the sheriff of Hobbes' Landing and instructs him to arrest Donna and Ken and hold them incommunicado. Samson then phones Jeanie and, claiming that Donna has walked out on the show, asks her to take her place. On the night of dress rehearsal, a reporter at the jailhouse interviews Ken and informs the sheriff that he has made an egregious mistake. After being released by the sheriff, Donna speeds back to town and enters the rehearsal hall, glaring. Donna accuses Jeanie of stealing her part and orders her to leave. Blaming Ken for her distress, Jeanie decides to return home to Altoona. When Donna's performance is met with unanimous scorn, she unceremoniously quits the show. Remembering that they have booked the 47th St. Theater for two weeks, Ken decides to stage a vaudeville show at the theater, using Larry's boarders, a troupe of dogs and Samson's name to promote it. Ken then journeys to Altoona to recruit Jeanie, and although he tells her that he loves her, she refuses to return, but grants him the use of her songs. On opening night, Ken broadcasts audience response to the show over the radio. Samson, sobering up at a rest home, hears the broadcast and his name used to promote the show. Furious, Samson climbs out a window, steals an ambulance and speeds to Broadway, acquiring a police escort along the way. When Jeanie arrives midway through the show, Larry sends her out to sing the finale and Ken joins her in a duet. As the curtain falls, Samson arrives at the theater, sputtering protests over the use of his name. Believing he is part of the show, the audience roars in laughter. When the audience responds with an ovation, Samson, realizing that the show is a hit, takes all the credit.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1943||Production Date:||
35mm nitrate: M37105; D37-R1-9
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Columbia Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Gregory Ratoff Productions|
|Duration(mins):||88 or 90||Country:||United States|
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User Ratings & Review
Many Entertaining Music Hall Numbers
James Smith 2015-10-08
Entertaining and varied 'music hall' numbers including a ballet whose ballerina looks much like Cyd Charise and a sensational dog act. So, so...