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Alias the Deacon

Alias the Deacon(1940)

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When he is tossed out of town for his dexterity with a deck of cards, cardsharp Deke Caswell meets Phyllis, who is also on her way out of town. The two hitch a ride with truck driver Johnny Sloan, and when they arrive at the town of Shelton, their next stop, Deke decides to pose as a deacon in order to avoid trouble with the law. Deke soon learns that the town is run by corrupt financier Jim Cunningham who, among other dastardly schemes, is plotting to steal Elsie Clark's hotel. To achieve this, he has hired Mrs. Gregory and her daughter Mildred to cheat Elsie at bridge, thus forcing her to borrow money. Cunningham is also promoting a boxing match against Bull Gumbatz, and when Bull's opponent is arrested, Johnny volunteers to fight in his place so that he can win enough money to buy the local garage and marry Phyllis. Throughout Cunningham's chicaneries, Deke continues his masquerade as a deacon until Cunningham cheats Johnny out of his winnings and accuses him of stealing his wallet. When Elsie puts her hotel up in lieu of Johnny's bail, Cunningham demands that she pay him back immediately. Cunningham's latest swindle spurs Deke into action, and he combines both of his professions to clean out Cunningham and his cronies in a card game, thus cleaning up the town.