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He Hired the Boss

He Hired the Boss(1943)

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Timid Hubert Wilkins has been working as a bookkeeper for over fifteen years at the importing firm of Bates & Co., yet still earns only forty dollars a week. Although he is in love with Bates's secretary, Emily Conway, Hubert does not wish to ask her to marry him until he makes a larger salary. Emily encourages Hubert to request a ten dollar raise from Bates, but Bates, who is having financial difficulties due to wartime restrictions on raw silk, turns him down and tells him to quit if he is unhappy. Bates is then visited by his son Don, who is home on leave from the Navy. Don loves Emily's sister Sally, but Bates disapproves of the match and tries to dissuade his son from marrying her. Meanwhile, Emily comforts Hubert and tries to assure him that a woman in love does not care about her husband's salary. As they are talking, an induction notice arrives for Hubert and he rushes down to the recruiting office for his preliminary examination. Later in the week, Bates hosts a send-off party for Hubert and promises that he will have a job waiting for him upon his return. The following Monday, however, Hubert is rejected by the Army due to his allergies, and when he tries to get his job back, Bates offers him a subordinate position at a much lower salary. Bates then threatens Emily with dismissal if she does not break up the romance between Don and her sister, but later that evening, she instead encourages them to elope. Emily chastises Hubert for his lack of assertiveness, and he spends the rest of the evening in a bar getting drunk with his friend Fuller. Filled with liquid courage, Hubert goes to Bates's home at 2:00 a.m. and demands a raise. Bates fires him, but when Emily finds out the next day, she is delighted with Hubert's brave action and quits while Bates is yelling at her about Don and Sally's marriage. Emily and Hubert then go to see four parcels of land that Hubert bought from Fuller, and although they are at first disappointed with the rock-covered lots, they learn from their banker friend, Perry Randall, that the land contains bauxite and is worth at least $100,000. Hubert's self-esteem gets another boost that evening when he helps to capture a gang of thieves who have been stealing Bates's raw silk and selling it on the black market. The next day, when Bates arrives at his office, he learns that Hubert has bought up his loans and now holds controlling interest in the company. After telling Bates that he can stay to run the business, Hubert secures his ten dollar raise and leaves with Emily to get married.