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The Gentleman from Nowhere

The Gentleman from Nowhere(1948)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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Late one night, at the Ninth Street Storage Co., in New York City, security guard Earl Donovan is injured in a gun battle with thieves trying to steal some valuable furs. While the police dismiss the possibility that the robbery was an inside job, F. B. Barton, an investigator with the Suffolk Indemnity insurance company, which is liable for the furs, suspects that Donovan is somehow involved in the heist. Barton's suspicions are further raised when he notes the resemblance between Donovan and Robert Ashton, a chemist who has been missing for seven years and is presumed dead. After learning from a colleague that Ashton's widow fraudulently collected $200,000 from her husband's life insurance policy, Barton Barton flies to Los Angeles to meet with executives of the Wilshire Chemical Company, Ashton's last known employer. When Barton tells Edward Dixon, chairman of the board of the chemical company, and the other executives that Ashton may still be alive, they appear startled by the news and concur that Ashton should return the money that was paid by Suffolk Indemnity. A short time later, Fenmore, the chemical company's lawyer, pays a private visit to Barton and offers to return the money to the insurance company and pay him $25,000 to remain silent about the discovery. Barton is perplexed by the bribe, and is further confused by a background check revealing that Donovan is not Ashton. Fearing an embarrassing scandal Barton returns to New York and makes a deal with Donovan to impersonate Ashton at his trial. As part of Barton's plan, Donovan, in exchange for $25,000, will take the blame for the insurance fraud without implicating anyone, and serve no more than one year in prison. The plan goes smoothly until an unexpected person, Ashton's wife Catherine, puts up the bail money for Donovan. Although she suspects that the man she bailed out may not be her husband, Catherine nevertheless takes Donovan home. After determining that Catherine was not involved in the insurance fraud scheme, Donovan reveals to Barton that he is, in fact, Ashton, and that he decided to keep his identity a secret until he found out who was behind the failed scheme to kill him and collect his insurance money. After Barton and Ashton trick Dixon into confessing his guilt, Donovan returns to Catherine and convinces her that he really is her husband.