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In 1900, bumbling chorus boy Stanley Snodgrass gets himself fired from the cast of the Jersey City revue Here Come the Girls after he accidentally causes stars Irene Bailey and Allen Trent to fall off a chair during a performance. The show's producer, Harry Fraser, dismisses Stanley despite the pleas of co-star Daisy Crockett, who is in love with Stanley. Moments after Daisy and Stanley leave the theater, Irene receives a note attached to a flower arrangement that reads: "For your lover's funeral. If I can't have you, no one can." Meanwhile, the note's author, Jack the Slasher, slips into Allen's dressing room and stabs the entertainer with a knife. Jack flees as Irene and Harry break into the room, and though Allen's wound is not serious, he cannot go on in the show. Daisy, meanwhile, cheers Stanley up as they head for home on a steamboat, convincing him that he could be a star if he worked harder. Stanley, who still lives with his parents, then lies to his mother Emily and stepfather Albert about his position in the show, but is exposed when Harry's messenger arrives to reclaim his costume. Furious, Albert, who operates a coal delivery business, announces that after nineteen years, he is through bankrolling Stanley's show business career and demands that he get a real job. The next day, at the police station, Irene identifies Jack as Allen's attacker, revealing that she once smiled at him, unaware that he was wanted for several brutal murders. When police detective Dennis Logan suggests using Allen to trap the insanely jealous Jack, Allen balks. Harry then gets the idea to replace Allen in the revue with Stanley and have Irene romance him in public until the police catch Jack. To Albert's shock, Harry and Irene offer Stanley $100 a week and a room at the Waldorf-Astoria to star in the show. Although Stanley's starring debut is a laughable flop, Irene and Harry lavish him with praise, and Irene invites him to Delmonico's restaurant in Manhattan. The amorous Stanley brushes Daisy off and accepts, but on the way there, insists on going to the hotel, where he and Irene have adjoining suites. After Stanley dismisses Logan, who is posing as his valet, Irene panics and telephones Harry, demanding that he rescue her. While Irene is changing clothes in her suite, Jack suddenly appears and threatens to hurt her unless she ends her affair with Stanley. Jack flees before Logan can catch him, and oblivious, Stanley continues to romance Irene zealously until Harry arrives with some brandy. Eager to impress Irene, Stanley downs a snifter of brandy, and soon is quite drunk. The next morning, Jack, posing as the hotel barber, is about to cut hungover Stanley's throat when Logan sneaks up and knocks him out. With Jack in custody, Harry immediately fires Stanley, who then is forced to go to work for Albert, delivering coal. Soon, however, Logan learns that Jack has escaped, and notifies Harry. Moments after Stanley inadvertently drops a load of coal into a clothes chute at a laundry, Harry and Irene show up and reinstate him in the revue. Daisy, meanwhile, is told by some chorus girls that Irene is using Stanley to make Allen jealous and storms into the star's dressing room to confront her. Irene assumes that Daisy knows about Jack and reveals Logan's trap, but when Daisy tries to warn Stanley, he accuses her of being jealous. Stanley then goes on stage for an "Ali Baba" number, and while he is muffing his lines and stumbling around the set, Jack throws knives at him from the balcony. Once again, Jack slips away before Logan and his men can catch him, and Allen replaces the terrified Stanley. Logan, however, insists that Stanley go back on, and in desperation, Harry agrees to keep Stanley in the show for the run's duration if he returns to the stage. Ignoring Daisy's pleas, Stanley resumes his performance, while Jack grabs a knife off the prop table, knocks out one of the show's clowns, dons his costume and enters the stage. After a chase through the audience, Jack finally stabs Stanley on the trapeze, then is arrested. After getting him to admit that he loves her, Daisy then reveals to the gasping Stanley that Jack's knife was a harmless prop. One night, two years later, Stanley, who has married Daisy, attempts to make his entrance in the still-running Here Come the Girls . As has happened at every previous show, however, Stanley is waylaid in the wings by the resourceful Harry, who scoops him up with a giant hook.