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A Damsel in Distress

A Damsel in Distress(1937)


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The romantic life of Lady Alyce Marshmorton is the subject of much gossip and wagers among the servants of Totleigh Castle, the Marshmorton estate. To win a marriage "pool" that has been instigated by head domestic Beggs, Albert, a young servant of the estate, forges a love letter from Alyce to American musical comedy star Jerry Halliday, whom she had met briefly in a London taxicab. Jerry, believing the letter's declarations of love, leaves London with his publicist, George, and dim-witted stenographer, Gracie, to join Alyce at Totleigh Castle. However, Alyce, who actually loves an American skier and consequently is being guarded closely by her disapproving, stuffy aunt, Lady Caroline, is confused by Jerry's arrival and sudden devotion to her romantic "cause." Aided by Alyce's equally confused but kindhearted father, Lord John, Jerry woos Alyce at a carnival and unwittingly wins her heart away from his absentee rival. At this point, Beggs, who had put his money on Reggie, Lady Caroline's simple-minded stepson, senses defeat and forces Albert to exchange betting sheets with him. In retaliation for Beggs's subterfuge, Albert turns Alyce against Jerry by showing her a gossip column about Jerry's love life, which had been concocted by an overzealous George. Hurt by the column, Alyce informs Jerry at a Marshmorton ball that she no longer loves him. Once again, Lord John provides the young lovers with counsel and encouragement, and just as Reggie proposes to Gracie, Jerry finally convinces Alyce of his own sincere love and desire for marriage.