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In the gypsy quarters of Los Angeles, gypsy king Marco Torino urges his people to donate money to fund his search for "the promised land." Marco then visits the doctor who lives above his fortune-telling establishment, where he learns that what he had feared was true: he is incurably ill. Marco conceals this information, but realizes that if he is to see his rebellious younger brother Stephano take his place as king, he must act quickly. First, he cunningly frightens away Stephano's prospective employer, Mr. Swift, the owner of a non-gypsy dancing school, by describing his brother as a "mostly reliable gypsy." Then he announces that he has arranged for Stephano to marry a beautiful gypsy from Chicago named Annie Caldash, a move that he hopes will cure the young man's restlessness. This, however, only infuriates Stephano, who accuses Marco of trying to run his life. Stephano tells Annie, her father Theodore, and her brother Xano that the wedding is off. This angers Papa Caldash, who had planned to abscond with his daughter after accepting several thousand dollars in wedding settlement money from Marco. Annie, who is attracted to Stephano and tired of the fraudulent betrothals arranged for her by her father, describes a scheme that appeals to Stephano. During the ceremony, she will simply do as her father wishes: feign illness and run away with the dowry money. Believing that Marco will stop interfering in his life after enduring such humiliation, Stephano agrees to proceed with the wedding, but during the elaborate ceremony, Annie surprises him and Papa Caldash by allowing the ceremony to proceed without a hitch. As the guests feast, dance, and sing outside the couple's door, Stephano packs his bags while advising Annie to end the marriage with the traditional declaration, "there is no love." Annie rips his shirt and wrestles with her new husband, but to no avail: Stephano leaves with Velma, his blonde girl friend and proceeds directly to Swift's dance studio. Believing Swift failed to hire him due to prejudice against gypsies, Stephano hurls the bewildered man through a plate glass window and is arrested. Marco bails him out and later reveals to Annie the truth about his illness. Determined to win over her new husband, Annie seduces him, but just after he promises to stay with her, Marco enters and declares that he and Annie have won. Stephano assumes the two are in league together and once again leaves his wife. Velma gets him an interview with an agent, but Annie, disguised as a fortune-teller, enters the club and fights with her rival. Disgusted, Stephano signs the contract and leaves for San Diego, where he and Velma perform three nightly shows in a series of sleazy bars. After several months of this, Stephano realizes that he loves Annie and returns home. He is surprised to find her dancing with Marco and apparently enduring little unhappiness as a result of his absence. While Stephano dances with Annie, his grandfather, Papa Johnny, secretly prepares a brew that will make him sick and therefore likely to stay at home. To Papa Johnny's horror, Annie drinks the potion, and later, when Stephano tries to make love to her, she falls asleep. Annie's strange behavior causes everyone to gossip, and Stephano soon believes that his wife loves Marco. Stephano, seeing that Marco plans to leave town in a trailer upon which he has painted the words, "the promised land," mistakenly assumes his brother has not only stolen his wife but swindled thousands of dollars from his people. The two men fight with their belts, "like gypsies," and Marco is injured. Papa Johnny then tells Stephano about Marco's terminal illness. At the council meeting that evening, Marco names Stephano the new gypsy king. After Stephano accepts the king's staff, Annie asks him to approve the annulment of her marriage, publicly declaring that "my husband never wanted me." Stephano apologizes to her and to Marco for his behavior but grants the annulment. After collecting more money for Marco's trip to the "promised land," he runs after Annie's car, declaring his intention to be a good husband and king. Overjoyed, Annie falls into Stephano's arms as the gypsies sing and dance.