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Smoky River Serenade

Smoky River Serenade(1947)

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J. Brickert Armstrong, a ruthless businessman determined to control all the land around the town of Split Rock Junction, finds his goal thwarted by Pop Robinson, the good-hearted owner of the Smoky River Ranch. Pop, who has founded the ranch as a monument to his late son, selflessly offers his hospitality to unemployed entertainers. Among those who have benefited from Pop's generosity in the past are Jack Nolan and The Hoosier Hot Shots, who cut short their successful tour in order to visit the impoverished Pop and help him with his finances. When Pop rejects Armstrong's final offer to purchase the ranch, Armstrong vows to buy up all of Pop's debts and foreclose on his mortgage. To help Pop, the Hot Shots decide to hold a talent contest for "Miss Golden West," and use the entry fees to pay Pop's creditors. Meanwhile, Armstrong enlists his niece, Sue Greeley, to convince Pop to sell the ranch. Upon arriving in Split Rock Junction, Sue stages an automobile accident and feigns amnesia, thus prompting the kindhearted Pop to offer her lodging. At the ranch, Jack explains to Sue about Pop's devotion to the land and his late son, and when she witnesses Pop placing flowers on his son's grave, she has a change of heart. After resigning from her job with her uncle, Sue volunteers to help organize the talent contest. Smitten by Sue, Jack enters her name in the contest. Soon after, Sam Givins, the Hot Shots's manager, comes to help promote the event. When a goat gobbles up all the entry fees, Sam offers to lend Pop the money in exchange for a three-year contract with the Hot Shots. To save awarding the prize money, Sam proposes that his girl friend, Wilda Moore, be designated the winner. Sue, jealous of Wilda's flirtation with Jack, overhears their scheme and notifies her uncle. On the day of the contest, Armstrong hires some men to pose as photographers and kidnap Wilda. Upon discovering Wilda's absence, Jack stalls for time while the Hot Shots pursue her abductors. As the crowd grows impatient, the Hot Shots rescue Wilda and speed her back to the ranch. When Wilda begins to apply her makeup, Sue, still angry, smears shoe polish on her face and denounces the fraudulent contest. After Wilda explains that the contest was fixed to save Pop the expense of awarding a prize, Sue performs in Wilda's place. When Sue is proclaimed winner, she turns down the prize and reconciles with Jack.