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A Desperate Adventure

A Desperate Adventure(1938)

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Marcel, Maurice and Tipo, friends of French painter and ladies' man Andre Friezan, are astonished by a portrait of a beautiful woman, clad only in a long scarf, which they find hidden in Andre's studio. They plead with Andre to exhibit it, but he refuses, saying that the model is his dream girl and that she does not really exist. Later that night at a costume ball, Andre is stunned to find his dream girl alive in the form of American heiress Ann Carrington. Andre takes her to his studio to show her the portrait and convince her of his love, but they discover that the painting is missing. The next day, Andre's three friends tell him they took his painting to the Dornay art gallery and show him the admiring notices it has received. Andre and his loyal butler Trump rush to the gallery to retrieve the portrait, but Dornay tells him that an American gentleman has already purchased it. After Andre and Trump leave to find the buyer, Ann, her father Cosmo and her sister Betty arrive at the gallery. They are scandalized when they see the portrait, and Cosmo also rushes off to find the buyer. Cosmo discovers that the painting is to be shipped tomorrow to New York, and fearing what Ann's blue-blooded fiancé, Gerald Richards, will think if he sees the painting, Cosmo books passage on the same ship for his family in hopes of finding the buyer when the ship docks. Andre overhears Cosmo's plans and also books passage on the ship. Ann is unhappy to see Andre aboard the ship the next day, but he tries to romance her nonetheless, even questioning Betty, who is attracted to Andre herself, about Ann. Later, Andre disguises himself as a steward and helps Cosmo steal the painting from the hold, but becomes worried when the captain announces that unless the stolen item is returned, all cabins will be searched. Andre talks with Betty, who is falling deeply in love with him, and her beautiful gown gives him an idea. Using Betty as a model, Andre paints a new portrait, identical to the other except that Ann is now wearing Betty's gown. The next afternoon, Andre shows Ann the revised portrait and finally wins her admiration. Soon after, Cosmo, still worried about potential scandal, takes one of the covered paintings from Andre's cabin, and Andre, believing it to be the original, helps him throw it overboard. When they arrive at New York, however, the painting is displayed to the insurance agent guaranteeing it, and they discover they have the original. Ann furiously accuses Andre of being an opportunist, and even Betty calls him a doublecrosser. Soon all is well when the buyer is revealed to be Gerald, who still loves Ann despite her brief shipboard flirtation with Andre. The reunited couple leave after the painting is destroyed, and after Betty forgives Andre, he realizes that she, not Ann, is his dream girl.