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Blonde Ransom

Blonde Ransom(1945)

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When Duke Randall, owner of the Paradise Gardens nightclub in Manhattan, loses $63,000 to gangster Ice Larson in a rigged poker game, he promises to have the money in one week or give up the club in exchange. While driving home, Duke crashes after swerving to avoid the speeding car of heiress Vicki Morrison, and she then takes the unconscious Duke home and nurses him. After he wakes, he flirts with Vicki until her uncle, William Morrison, a curmudgeon who is convinced that Duke will sue them, interrupts them. Though Duke jokingly offers to sell him $63,000 thousand dollars worth of stock in the club instead, Uncle William refuses, and Duke leaves. That night, as Duke discusses his dire financial state with his employee and best friend, Pinky Lee, and Pinky's girl friend Sheba, Larson enters the office with his three goons, followed by Vicki, who has come to visit. Larson's rude words to Vicki soon cause Duke to start a fight with Larson's henchmen, during which Sheba accidentally breaks a vase over Duke's head, knocking him out. The gangsters depart while Vicki revives Duke and tells him that now she owes him double. A few hours later, at the same time that Larson and his gang hide out in their car and discuss whether to steal Vicki's diamonds, Pinky tells her the story of Duke's debt. Sympathetic, she asks Pinky to wait at the same Central Park bench each night. Two days later, Vicki entreats Uncle William to advance her $63,000, and when he refuses, she moves on to her next plan. Soon after, Duke sees a newspaper report that Vicki has been kidnapped, and, assuming Larson is responsible, beats up the gangster and demands that he release her. Meanwhile, Vicki calls Uncle William from a drugstore phone booth and, after pretending to be beaten, tells him that the kidnappers are demanding $63,000 in ransom, to be delivered to a bench in Central Park that night. Though Uncle William at first is distraught, he soon suspects that Vicki may be deceiving him. As confirmation, he leaves the money at the contracted spot, where Pinky and Sheba, who have been waiting, soon find the bag of money. Just as they run to the club to show Duke, Vicki calls him, asks him to meet her, and tells him that she has raised the money. Duke realizes that Uncle William will blame him for the prank, and so he and Vicki speed back to the club to retrieve the money, but are too late to stop Pinky from giving the bag to Larson. When Duke despairs, however, Pinky reveals that he switched the bags at the last minute, and gave Larson his laundry. At that moment, a furious Larson returns with his men to demand the correct bag, at the same time that Uncle William sneaks in the door and hears him. When Uncle William knocks out Larson with his cane, the police run in behind him and arrest the whole gang for breaking parole, but they hear Uncle William tell Vicki he knows that she faked the incident and so arrest them all as frauds and accomplices. In jail, Uncle William demands to see his old pal Judge Powers, who releases him and then, a day later, releases Duke, Vicki, Pinky and Sheba. When they all return to the club, they find that Uncle William has bought out half the business, increased the club's revenue and planned a double wedding for the two happy couples.