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The Girl Next Door

The Girl Next Door(1953)

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Remind Me

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After chorus girl Jeannie Laird fills in for the lead of a musical revue, she becomes a major star and begins a whirlwind tour of Europe. Upon her return to New York, Jeannie is greeted by her best friend, Rosie Green, and business manager, Reed Appleton. Jeannie is looking forward to relaxing in the quaint, old-fashioned home that she asked Reed to buy for her, and is dismayed by the modern, gadget-filled house he has purchased. Jeannie makes the best of it, however, and throws a party to celebrate her homecoming. Her guests are bewildered though, when they are bombarded by pigeons and clouds of barbecue smoke coming from the backyard of the next-door neighbors. Jeannie storms over and yells at the occupants, widower Bill Carter and his young son Joe, then apologizes for her abrupt behavior. Jeannie and the easy-going Bill are immediately attracted to each other, much to the disgust of Joe, who mistrusts women and is annoyed when Jeannie comments on how well the two "men" cope on their own. The next morning, Bill jumps the wall separating their backyards and visits Jeannie during a rehearsal. He tells her that he draws a newspaper comic strip about his life with Joe and the other neighbors, and would like to include her. Jeannie is flattered and amused that Bill has drawn her as a "jet-propelled fairy" because of her energy and devotion to work. Soon after, Jeannie joins Bill and Joe for dinner, and Joe deliberately lets slip the Carters' motto: "Women are fine but not in the home." Later, despite Joe's reluctance, Bill takes him to the nightclub where Jeannie is performing and imagines himself dancing with her. Disturbed by how quickly he is falling in love with Jeannie, Bill impulsively tells Joe that they will be leaving the next morning for a long-planned camping trip in the Canadian woods. Later that same night, however, Bill shares a passionate kiss with Jeannie, and the next morning, lies to Joe, telling him that they cannot go camping because he is working on a syndication deal for the comic strip. Distraught, Joe insists that they must go, as Bill has already written in the strip that they will be vacationing, and everything in "their" strip must be the truth. Bill ignores his son's concerns, however, and continues to romance Jeannie while Reed arranges for the syndication. Feeling betrayed after learning that Bill has been publishing strips about their supposed camping trip, Joe has a nightmare about their trip being interrupted by Jeannie, who swoops down on a broomstick to lure Bill away. Joe discusses the situation with his friend Kitty, who advises him to expose Bill's duplicity, as it will get worse if it is not stopped. Joe then writes a letter to Bill's boss telling him that Bill has been lying in his strip, but after he deposits the letter in a mailbox, Joe changes his mind and attempts to dismantle the box in order to retrieve the letter. Meanwhile, Bill, out on a date with Jeannie, proposes to her and she gladly accepts. When they return home, however, policeman O'Toole tells them that Joe has been arrested for vandalizing the mailbox and takes them to the police station. There, Joe tearfully accuses Bill of dishonesty and yells at Jeannie that he hates her for coming between him and his father. Bill grimly escorts Joe and Jeannie home, and in a whispered conversation, tells Jeannie that he is going to inform Joe of their engagement. When Bill tries to tell Joe, however, Jeannie interrupts and states that he cannot force the boy to like her. The couple quarrels about whether they should marry despite Joe's disapproval, and Jeannie angrily departs. Later, Kitty and Joe are fishing, and when he informs her about Bill and Jeannie's breakup, Kitty tells Joe that he should stop interfering because his father should be married. To illustrate her point, Kitty reminds Joe of the story of Noah and the ark, in which the animals are boarded two by two, and tells him that "kids are extra" to adults. Back at Jeannie's house, she announces her intention to move, but Reed and Rosie, who know that she is still in love with Bill, ask her to throw them a party, for they have just eloped. Jeannie agrees, although she is disappointed when the loud music does not lure Bill out of his house. Bill does hear the music, however, and is about to leave when Joe insists on playing a round of their favorite game, "drawades," in which one player draws a story for the other. Joe draws the story of Noah, who refuses to allow a father monkey to board with his little boy monkey until they are joined by a lady monkey. Realizing that he has Joe's blessing, Bill dashes over to Jeannie's patio, where the couple joyfully dances together while Kitty and Joe look on with approval.