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Hat Check Honey

Hat Check Honey(1944)

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Vaudeville comedian Happy Dan Briggs breaks up his father and son carnival act so that his son Danny, Jr. can have a chance at the big time. Working as a busboy at the Penguin nightclub, Danny meets and falls in love with aspiring writer Susan Brent, who works there as a hat check girl. After being fired as a busboy, Danny is hired to replace Jimmy Cash as the singer in Freddie Slack's orchestra. Encouraged by Danny's newfound success, Susan asks Happy to come to the Penguin in order to patch things up between the father and son. That night, motion picture star Mona Mallory attends the club, but leaves abruptly when the well-meaning Happy spills champagne on her. Happy apologizes to the actress the next morning, however, so she agrees to help Danny get a contract with Major Studios. After his very first film with Mona, the studio heads decide to build up Danny to star status. Happy, in turn, pays Susan's way to Hollywood, where she is immediately hired as a bicycle messenger at the studio. Danny soon becomes a victim of his own success, going so far as to present himself as an aristocrat. Mona, in turn, becomes jealous of Danny's publicity and demands that her new discovery, Alan Dane, co-star in her next film. When her demands are refused, Mona telegrams Happy and asks him to come out to Hollywood. Later, Susan chastises Danny who, on the advice of his agent, Tim Martel, refuses to meet his father at the train station. Danny takes Happy and Susan to a nightclub, where they meet Mona and Alan, with disastrous results. Later, Martel tells Happy that his presence in Hollywood will hurt Danny's career, so the old vaudevillian agrees to leave. Meanwhile, Danny asks for a delay in the production of his next picture so that he can straighten things out with Susan and his father, but when the studio refuses, he quits and returns to his old job with Freddie Slack's orchestra. Later, Susan writes a screenplay, based on Happy's vaudevillian life, but refuses to sell it to the studio unless Happy plays himself. Happy, in turn, refuses to do the film without his son. The studio then agrees to give Danny another chance, and he and Susan are reconciled.