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The Petty Girl

The Petty Girl(1950)

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Artist George Petty fails to interest automobile magnate B. J. Manton in his idea for advertising his newest car with drawings of attractive women, but Manton's daughter Connie likes the drawings and the artist, and even though she is married, makes George her protegé. She encourages him to take up serious painting, and soon he becomes a successful portrait painter and acquires a penthouse, good clothes and a butler. Meanwhile, attractive young Victoria Braymore, a professor at Braymore College, plans a trip to a conference in New York, where she will answer criticisms that Braymore is old-fashioned. Victoria has been reared by a group of older professors since the death of her parents when she was a child, and her guardians, concerned about the dangers of the city, send a professor, Victoria's friend, Dr. Crutcher, as her chaperon. George spots Victoria in an art museum and tries to pick her up. After Victoria refuses to speak with a man she does not know, George pretends to be a former student of Dr. Crutcher's and so charms the professor that she pretends to believe his lie. George then invites Victoria to dinner, and when she refuses to go without Dr. Crutcher, asks his butler to be Dr. Crutcher's date. At dinner, the butler, whom George introduces as his Uncle Ben, proceeds to get very drunk. While Ben keeps Dr. Crutcher amused, George and Victoria go to a nightclub which features a scantily dressed model, who poses for the artists in the audience. After a drink is spilled on Victoria's dress, she asks the powder room attendant to iron it dry. While she is waiting in her slip, the club is raided, and the police mistake her for the model. The following morning her picture and a report about her arrest is on the front page of the newspaper. When Victoria returns to Braymore, George follows her and gets a job there as a handyman. George's efforts to spend time alone with Victoria are made more difficult by the surveillance of suspicious Professor Whitman. When the professor sees Victoria sneak out to George's room so that he can sketch her, she summons the others and George is forced to leave. The next day, after her guardians discuss what disciplinary measures should be taken, Victoria sweetly announces that she is in love and plans to follow George to New York. In New York, Victoria tries to convince George to give up his serious paintings and stick to drawing the "Petty Girl," as she dubs his sexy drawings of women. When an angry George throws her out, Victoria sneaks his painting of her into the art museum. The resulting publicity lands Victoria a job in burlesque, but before the first performance, George delivers an injunction forbidding her to appear publicly as the Petty Girl. Learning that Connie is giving a party for George, Victoria decides that the injunction does not prevent her from appearing privately and imports her entire act to the party. Manton is so impressed by Victoria's number that he offers George an advertising contract. George realizes that Victoria has been right about his talent and reconciles with her.