powered by AFI
After the final performance of the last show at the Palace Theatre in New York, old-time performer Nick West attempts to give a farewell speech, but becomes choked with emotion, so his son and fellow performer Tony finishes it for him, proclaiming that vaudeville will never die. Vaudeville houses continue to close, however, and the Three Wests--Nick, Tony and his sister Kitty--find it difficult to get bookings. Despite his father's objections, Tony breaks up the act and heads for California to try his luck in motion pictures. He soon finds work in the chorus at Universal Pictures, where he catches the eye of musical star Gloria Vance. The two quickly become screen partners, then man and wife. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Tony tries give up his newly found Hollywood stardom and enlist in the U.S. Army, but is rejected because of an old knee injury. He asks, however, that no one, including Gloria, be told of his rejection. Meanwhile, Private "Chick" Doyle, an old vaudeville friend of the Wests, is put in charge of organizing entertainment for the soldiers at his camp, and he gets Nick and Louie Fairweather, an animal trainer, to promise to help. In turn, Nick asks for his son's help, and Tony soon finds himself organizing the Hollywood Victory Committee (H.V.C.), a consortium of motion picture, theatrical and radio personalities dedicated to help the war effort, including the creation of war bond drives and U.S.O. Shows. While returning home from one such show, Tony gets into an argument with Gloria after refusing to listen to her when she tries to tell him that she is pregnant. The misunderstanding leads to the couple's separation. After many months organizing the H.V.C., Tony goes overseas to Brisbane, Australia with a U.S.O. troupe. Breaking her word to Gloria, Kitty tells Tony that he is about to become a father and he makes plans to call his wife upon their arrival onshore. Their cargo ship is attacked by a Japanese submarine, however, and Tony is killed. With her late husband proclaimed a hero on the cover of Life magazine, Gloria takes Tony's place entertaining the troops, along with hundreds of other stars.