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Hat Check Girl

Hat Check Girl(1932)

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Gerry Marsh, a nice girl from Brooklyn, supports her mother and ne'er-do-well brother Walter by working as a hat check girl at the Embassy Club. When her boss, Tony Carlucci, instructs her to attend a party at the home of the wealthy Phil Cornwall, who has requested the charming girl's attendance, Carlucci tells her to pick out a tight dress and promises to pay her fifty dollars for the job. Gerry accepts the money but refuses to sell liquor illegally from behind the hat check counter when Carlucci suggests the lucrative scheme. Later at the club, Gerry warns a colonel, accompanied by a blonde, that his wife is inside with another man. Todd Reese, a sleazy gossip columnist who has romantic designs on Gerry, arrives, and Jessie, another hat check girl, informs him about the colonel's wife and her boyfriend, Stoney Stone. Todd attempts to blackmail the pair, and Stoney threatens to kill him if he should print the story. That night, at Phil's party, Gerry is ready to leave after being slighted by one of the other guests, when Phil offers to let her spend the night in an apartment on the grounds of his estate, as the wealthy tenant is away. As Gerry sleeps in Buster Collins' bed, the bachelor arrives home drunk and hides her clothes. He wakes Gerry up by blowing smoke in her face and then propositions her. When Buster goes into the kitchen to make breakfast, Gerry sneaks out of the house in his clothes. Meanwhile, at the Embassy Club, Jessie sells someone liquor. When she steps out, Monahan, Carlucci's henchman who is dressed as a police officer, enters and asks Gerry if she is keeping any liquor. Gerry replies in the negative, but when Monahan searches the booth, he finds Jessie's bottle. Monahan and Carlucci set up a charade in which Monahan threatens to arrest Gerry until Carlucci intervenes and promises to get her off if she will sell liquor for him. Gerry agrees, and Todd, who witnesses the scheme, threatens to blackmail Carlucci for his ill-treatment of the innocent hat check girl. Gerry leaves the Embassy in a taxi with the persistent Buster, who has come to the club in search of her. They kiss and enjoy a romantic ride to Gerry's Brooklyn home. Buster later proposes to Gerry on a ski slope, but the young woman worries about Buster's father, who earlier disapproved of the match. Mr. Collins, however, finally condones the union, and at the couple's engagement party, the men play a game called "murder" and joke about killing Todd, who has excited the animosity of several guests with his gossip column in a magazine called "The Keyhole." As the game becomes more elaborate, Buster agrees to play the murderer, and his father approaches him with a real motive: Todd has threatened to reveal information to the press about Gerry's past. Gerry informs Buster that Todd could well blackmail the Collinses with his insinuations, and when Todd is shot mysteriously, Buster is implicated as he had both a motive and the opportunity to commit the crime. Mr. Collins' attorney tries to buy Gerry off for $10,000, but she leaves without the money and tells Collins that he can keep his son, though she loves him. Buster is released when it is discovered that Stoney Stone killed Todd, and the couple renew their pledge of love.