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Maisie Was a Lady

Maisie Was a Lady(1941)

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When drunken millionaire Bob Rawlston causes Maisie Ravier to ruin her carnival sideshow act, she is fired. Later, Bob lets the furious Maisie have his car to drive back to New York City. On the way, she is stopped by a motorcycle cop who recognizes the car and, thinking she has stolen it, takes her to jail. The next day, Bob cannot remember the previous night and refuses to press charges. As Maisie has been verbally abusive to the policeman and has no money or job, the judge threatens to throw her in jail, until a remorseful Bob admits that Maisie's version of the story is probably correct. The judge then orders Bob to employ Maisie for $25 a week for two months. Bob takes her to his family estate and hires her as a maid, impressing Maisie with his kindness. The head butler, Walpole, takes Maisie under his wing and tries to show her how to dress and act properly. The house is filled with guests, as Bob's sister Abby is about to celebrate her engagement to society playboy Link Phillips. Abby is very happy about the engagement, but is worried that her frequently absent father "Cap" will not arrive in time for the party. Maisie is convinced that all of the guests are "phonies," but Abby is kind and asks Maisie to become her personal maid. Maisie soon learns that Cap has rarely been with his children since his wife died many years before. His neglect has made Abby very lonely and insecure and led to Bob's drinking and giving up a promising career as an engineer. The night before the engagement party, Diana Webley, Link's former fiancée and a friend of Abby, arrives, secretly bent on stopping Link and Abby's marriage. At breakfast the next day, Link is unnerved by Diana's presence and quickly leaves. Meanwhile, Cap sends Abby expensive jewelry to make up for his not being there, something he has done repeatedly over the years. Link then convinces the distraught Abby to elope with him. Maisie, who has a "hunch" about Link, is dismayed. While Link is getting ready, Diana enters his room, leaving the door open. When Diana realizes that Link still wants to see her and is only marrying Abby for her money, she says that she has been a fool and wants to warn Abby. Just then Abby arrives and at first refuses to believe Diana, who says that all of Abby's friends have been laughing over Abby's blindness and stupidity about Link. Maisie arrives just as Diana reads a letter from Link in which he admits that money was his only reason for marrying Abby. Although Maisie tries to comfort Abby, she feels that no one has ever liked her and tries to poison herself. Sometime later, when Cap arrives, after being summoned by Walpole, Abby is still unconscious and near death. Cap tells Bob that he does not understand what is wrong and says that Abby has always been sweet, but not very attractive. When Maisie hears him talking so dispassionately, she laces into him about Bob and Abby, making him realize that he has been a negligent father. Now shocked into realizing what is wrong with their lives, Cap and Bob appeal to Abby, who soon recovers. Abby asks Maisie to be her companion, and Bob, realizing that he has fallen in love with Maisie, proposes, but she is sure that she could never be the lady of a house such as the Rawlstons' and leaves. Some time later, Bob locates Maisie at a vaudeville house and finally convinces her that she is a "lady," and she agrees to marry him.