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Meet the People

Meet the People(1944)

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As soon as he sees Broadway star Julie Hampton addressing a crowd of Morganville, Delaware shipyard workers during a war bond drive, welder William "Swanee" Swanson falls in love. To meet Julie, who has offered a date to the man who sells the most bonds, Swanee claims to have $7,500 in pledges. Then, to further his own case, Swanee surprises Julie by announcing that she will kiss every man who makes a pledge to him. After hordes of shipyard workers rush to the stage for a kiss from Julie, Swanee wins the contest. For their date, Swanee drives Julie in his rundown car to Inspiration Point. While romancing Julie, Swanee reveals that he is a playwright and has written a working man's musical, Meet the People , with his cousin John, a composer and fighting Marine. Swanee performs the musical's love song for Julie, who is impressed enough to show the play to her producer, Monte Rowland. Monte agrees to stage the musical on condition that costumes and sets from his previous show be used. When Swanee travels to New York to see a dress rehearsal, he is dismayed to discover that Monte and Julie have turned his "everyman" show into a glitzy extravaganza. Disgusted, Swanee declares that, as per his contract, the show must be restaged to his specifications or be canceled. Sure that he can pressure Swanee into changing his mind, Monte cancels the show himself and releases Swanee from his contract. Instead of capitulating, however, Swanee accuses Julie of gross self-promotion and returns to Morganville. Determined to reclaim Meet the People , Julie follows Swanee to Morganville and gets a job as a shipyard welder. To her surprise, Julie enjoys her new assignment and quickly makes friends with her starstruck co-workers. While picnicking with Swanee one Sunday, Julie confesses why she came to Morganville, but adds that she now wants to mount Swanee's show so that her needy chorus girl friends will have work. Impressed with Julie's apparent reformation, Swanee resigns with Monte. When he sees Julie posing for publicity photographs in her welding uniform, however, he once again denounces her as a self-serving egotist. Just then, Julie learns that all war jobs have been frozen and that she must remain indefinitely at the shipyard. After she broadcasts a pep talk to her fellow workers, a vengeful Julie tricks Swanee into revealing his true feelings for her while her microphone is still on. Laughed at by his peers, Swanee again accuses Julie of being a selfish hypocrite and storms away. Later, Swanee's uncle Felix confesses that he told John, who is soon returning to Morganville on a medical leave, that Meet the People was a Broadway hit. To help out his uncle, Swanee offers to produce the show as part of the shipyard's upcoming 300th ship celebration. Julie, however, has decided to stage her own star-studded show and refuses to consider doing Meet the People . When John, who has been told by Felix that Julie is doing the show, arrives in her shipyard office to thank her, she sadly tells him the truth. Later, however, she changes her mind and announces she is having an open casting call for Meet the People . Swanee, who for days has been searching for the owner of the shipyard in order to convince him to back Meet the People , returns to town, unaware that his musical is about to open. After a lonely Julie admits to herself that she loves Swanee despite their disagreements, she and Swanee happily reunite on stage for the show's patriotic finale.