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It's a Small World

It's a Small World(1935)

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Remind Me

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Jane Dale, a St. Louis society girl vacationing with her mother in New Orleans, takes her cousin Nancy Naylor's car to return to St. Louis, as she's tired of reading tabloid accounts of Nancy's third divorce. Jane, a reckless driver, crashes into lawyer Bill Shevlin's car on a country road in Louisiana, when Bill moves into the oncoming lane to let a herd of cattle pass. A calf is killed in the accident, and Bill scoffs when Jane threatens to sue him. The two bicker and banter the whole night until the judge of a nearby town comes by the next morning and tows their cars. The judge tries Bill and Jane in his court for neglectful recklessness. Bill is found guilty and must pay a fine, but Jane flirts with the townies, who then act as witnesses and unanimously state her innocence. Jane has Bill's car stripped of its parts in order to repair her own battered vehicle, and when she can't pay him the money for the parts, the judge evokes the Napoleonic code, which gives Bill the right to "seize the body" of the debtor. Jane says that she'd rather go to jail than be under Bill's authority, but when the ingenious lawyer brings a group of town drunks to the jail cell, she loses her courage. The couple flirt while washing dishes at the hotel that night, and later they discuss marriage, with Bill admitting his hatred of divorce as he sees scores of women every day who come into his office for their fourth and fifth divorce. Later Cal, the car mechanic, informs Bill that Jane's car is registered under the name Nancy Naylor and that he discovered a court summons for a divorce hearing in her glove compartment. Bill recognizes Nancy's name and believes that he has been made the fool by this thrice-divorced society girl. He confronts Jane, who cries and flees. The judge discovers that Jane has stolen the car that she is driving, and Bill realizes his mistake. He finds Jane, reaffirms his vow of love, and they leave as Jane's mother, Nancy and Jane's former fiancé, Freddie Thompson, arrive. The couple happily drive past the group in the car built with their united parts.