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Beautiful But Broke

Beautiful But Broke(1944)

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When theatrical agent Waldo Main decides to enlist in the Armed Forces, his assistant, Dottie Duncan, takes over the business. Many musicians have also enlisted in the military, resulting in a shortage of male bands. Consequently, when Tom Martin comes to the agency to hire a band for an engagement in Cleveland, Dottie presses her telephone operator friends, Sally Richards and Sue Ford into service. After persuading Martin to audition the band over the telephone, Dottie directs Sally and Sue to call the office and sing over the phone to the accompaniment of a big band record. Thinking that the music is live, Martin hires the band and tells Dottie that he will pay her when she arrives in Cleveland. As Sally and Sue's back up, Dottie hires Birdie Benson and her band, daughters of some old-time musicians. In order to raise money for their train tickets to Cleveland, Dottie then tricks investor Maxwell McKay into buying the agency. En route to Cleveland, the conductor asks Dottie and the girls to surrender their seats to twelve pilots in need of transportation. When they are stranded in the town of San Madero, Nevada, the band rents some rooms at the local hotel, but Joan is unable to locate their train tickets so the ticket master refuses to reimburse the hotel for their bill and they are evicted. In the dead of night, the women seek refuge in an abandoned house, unaware that it is a target for the munitions factory. Awakened by a gunshell flying through the wall, Dottie and the others think that they are being invaded. When munitions supervisor Bill Drake learns of their plight, he treats them to breakfast and invites them to stay at his apartment. Many of the mothers of San Madero are employed at the defense plant, and consequently must leave their children unattended during the day. When Bill suggests that Dottie and the band give a benefit performance to raise money to build a daycare center, they agree. The concert is so successful that an account of the band's patriotic efforts is printed nationwide. Upon reading the story, McKay comes to town, claiming that Dottie defrauded him when she sold him the agency. Overhearing his accusation, Bill informs Dottie that he provided McKay, his uncle, with the money to invest in the agency. When Bill suggests that the band make good on the deal by staying in town and entertaining, Sue is intrigued because she has fallen in love with Bill. As Dottie joins a team of bricklayers to begin construction on the daycare center, she is summoned to the office of Putnam, the plant superintendent, who informs her that the railroad has finally authorized their tickets to Cleveland. At the train station, Bill admits that he was in possession of the lost tickets the entire time and appeals to Dottie's patriotic instincts to stay in San Madero. Sue and Sally, who has become infatuated with Jack Foster, one of the officers, eagerly consent, and following their lead, the rest of the band members decide to remain in Nevada.