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Fighting Back

Fighting Back(1948)

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When Nick Sanders returns home from Army service in the Philippines, he happily reunites with his wife June, young son Jimmy and dog Snuffy, but downplays his war service to Jimmy. June has arranged a job interview for Nick with her boss, Robert J. Higby, and when Nick goes to the Higby home for the interview, he takes Jimmy along as Higby's son Larry is his best friend. Larry has been very sick and limps badly, but Higby's snobbish wife Martha does not approve of her son's friendship with an employee's child. Higby, however, thanks Nick for Jimmy's help in building Larry's self-confidence. During the interview, Nick, who had been in prison when the war started and ended up serving two years longer than his sentence, presents Higby with his parole papers. Higby is not disturbed by Nick's background and offers to hire him to work in his textile business. Later, Nick becomes the manager of Jimmy's baseball team and gives Larry a job as "utility man." During an important game, the team's star batter, Slugger Slaughter, is dragged home by his mother for his piano lesson, and Nick brings in Larry to replace him. After a rocky start, Larry hits a home run, and the team wins. Later, Sam Lang, an old acquaintance of Nick, comes to the house and, after Jimmy shows off some of Snuffy's tricks including a hide and seek game, thanks Nick for "taking the rap" for him. Nick tells Lang that they are now even and that he should not bother him again. When Snuffy later disappears, Nick goes looking for him, unaware that Lang has kidnapped the dog and is using him to steal a diamond bracelet from Higby's house. However, before Lang can claim it, Snuffy runs away with the bracelet. The next day, Nick and Jimmy go to the Higby house to pick up Larry for a picnic, and find police sergeant Scudder there conducting an investigation of the theft. After Mrs. Higby accuses Nick of stealing the bracelet, Scudder tells them that a window pane was cut from the outside and that he has found a dog's paw prints nearby. Suspicious, Nick goes to see Lang and finds Snuffy and proof that Lang trained him to steal. Lang admits his crime but tells Nick that Snuffy has hidden the bracelet somewhere. He then slugs Nick and escapes. Later, Snuffy digs up the bracelet, which he had buried in Nick's yard and drops it into Nick's coat pocket as he talks with Larry on the phone. Larry does not believe Nick is guilty and wants Jimmy to come to see him. Sgt. Scudder comes to the Sanders home and Nick finds the bracelet in his pocket before Scudder can search him. Nick gives the bracelet to June to hide, but Snuffy thinks it is all a game and keeps retrieving it until June hides it in a carpet sweeper, which neighbor Mrs. Winkle then borrows. Soon after, Mrs. Higby calls on Nick and June to report that Larry has had a relapse and is calling for Jimmy. Nick gives Jimmy permission to see his pal, and a grateful Mrs. Higby states that she will withdraw the charge against Nick and allow the insurance company to handle the theft. However, Nick knows that the police will not stop suspecting him and tells Mrs. Higby that the bracelet is doubtlessly in Mrs. Winkle's dust bin now, and when Mrs. Winkle returns home, they can look for it. Just as Jimmy and Snuffy rush out of the house, Lang enters and points a gun at everyone. Snuffy recovers the bracelet from the dust bin and Jimmy brings it in only to have it taken by Lang. Snuffy attacks Lang, enabling Nick to struggle with him for possession of the gun. Lang slugs Nick and is about to leave but is arrested by Scudder who has heard everything. Scudder orders Nick to hand over the bracelet, but the ever-playful Snuffy has already taken the bracelet from him.