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Champagne for Breakfast

Champagne for Breakfast(1935)

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Young attorney Bob Bentley is forced by his mounting bills and lack of clients to become a process server. One morning, he goes to the mansion of prominent businessman E. Bradley Morton, whose fun-loving daughters, Vivian and Natalie, are often written about in the tabloids. While Morton is on the phone trying to borrow $150,000 from his business partner, Wayne Osborne, to cover a string of bad investments that include a worthless avocado farm in California, Bob meets Vivian and Natalie and learns that their servants have quit because they have not been paid. Bob prepares breakfast, but when the trio take a tray into Morton's study, they discover that he has killed himself out of despair over his debts. An auction of their household goods allows the girls to pay their father's debts, but they have nothing to live on and are left with only the avocado farm. Meanwhile, Osborne, who is actually a crook, agrees with his partner, Monte Raeburn, to buy the lease from the girls for a paltry sum and then sell it to Mr. Reach, who wishes to build a racetrack there, for $200,000. Osborne romances Natalie and allows the sisters to live in his apartment, and although Natalie wants to sell him the lease, Vivian is suspicious of his motives. Bob and Vivian begin dating, and Vivian gives him the lease papers to determine their value. Bob discovers that the corporation that sold the land to Morton is a dummy company headed by Osborne and Raeburn. Suspecting that Osborne and Raeburn swindled Morton and now want to defraud the girls, Bob decides to investigate further. He inadvertently gets his chance when he, Vivian, his roommate, reporter Swifty Greer, and their friend, a tout known as "The Judge," meet Reach's drunken daughter Edie. The next day, Edie visits Bob at his office and entices him to her hotel, where Bob overhears Osborne and Reach discussing the lease. Hoping to get more information out of Edie, Bob takes her out, but his plans go awry when Vivian, with whom Bob broke a date, sees them together. Edie gets drunk again and provides nothing useful, and the next morning, thanks to a newspaper article speculating about the prospective new racetrack, Bob figures out Osborne's scheme. While Bob contacts Reach and explains the situation to him, the Judge uses Bob's briefcase, which contains Vivian's papers, as collateral to place a bet on a horse race. Bob brings Reach to his office and is astonished to find the lease missing. Just as the police bring in Joe, Osborne's henchman whom he had instructed to steal the papers, the Judge, who has won his bet and reclaimed Bob's briefcase, returns. Osborne and Raeburn are arrested after Bob discloses their crooked dealings, and Reach buys the farm from Natalie and Vivian. The judge then uses his winnings to pay Natalie's traffic tickets, and Bob and Vivian take his last two dollars to purchase a marriage license.