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Manpower

Manpower(1941)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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While working on a high power line during a raging storm, Southern California lineman Hank McHenry sustains a permanent leg injury. No longer able to work on the lines, he is made foreman of a team that includes his friends Johnny Marshall and Antoine "Pop" Duval. One cold night, an ice storm downs some lines, and Pop is killed when he touches one. Hank, as foreman, must tell Pop's daughter Fay, who was recently released from prison, and he begs Johnny to accompany him. Johnny is angered by Fay's unsentimental acceptance of her father's death, but Hank is attracted to her and later delivers some money to her, claiming that it came from Pop's insurance. Fay, who works as a hostess in a Los Angeles nightclub, isn't fooled by Hank's ruse, but takes the money anyway. Despite Johnny's warnings, Hank continues to see Fay, and she, in turn, tolerates him because he is kind to her. Eventually Hank asks Fay to marry him, and although she is not in love with him, she agrees. Knowing that Fay cannot possibly love the uncouth Hank, Johnny offers to buy her off, but only succeeds in reaffirming her decision. At first, Fay tries hard to be a good wife to Hank. Then Johnny is seriously injured at work and Hank brings him home to recuperate. Fay falls in love with the handsome Johnny, but when she tells him about her feelings, he hurriedly leaves the house. Hank's team travels to work at Boulder Dam, and Fay takes advantage of Hank's absence to leave him. Seeking a contact at the nightclub where she used to work, Fay is caught in a raid. Johnny takes the police call and drives down to bail her out of jail. When he learns that Fay was planning to leave Hank, he insists that she continue her marriage and drives her to the camp. There a bad storm blows in and the crew receives an emergency call. Because Johnny does not want to come between Hank and Fay, he quits his job, but this does not stop Fay from leaving Hank. Hank blames Johnny for the end of his marriage and, despite his lameness, climbs up the wires after his friend. The two men fight and Hank falls to his death. Before he dies, Fay tells him that he has falsely accused Johnny. She then leaves, but is joined by Johnny, who has decided to stay with her.