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Miss Mink of 1949

Miss Mink of 1949(1949)

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Alice Forrester is the winner of a Los Angeles radio contest sponsored by Cranston Beauty products, the prize of which is a $10,000 silver blue mink coat, styled by Teitelbaum. Alice's husband Joe works as a clerk at the Pendelton Finance Co., and Pendelton's wife Rose has seen the coat on display and covets it. Pendelton is pressured by Rose, who is becoming known as "Second Hand" Rose because virtually all her adornments are items repossessed by her husband, to acquire the coat. To placate Rose, Pendleton suggests to Joe that he cannot afford to have the coat as Alice will want to show it off at night spots and will need new dresses, a new car and other expensive items to go with it. Pendelton offers Joe $5,000 and his wife's coat in exchange for the new coat and implies that he will be become general manager of the company if he cooperates. Alice's mother, Mrs. Marshall, and her uncle Newton, an insurance salesman, who are living with the couple, hope that, with Alice becoming a celebrity, Joe will get out of the rut he is in and make a fortune for them all to spend. However, Joe delays telling Alice about the deal he has made with Pendelton and discovers that she has bought several dresses in anticipation of going to lots of parties and has plans to make more purchases. Pendelton keeps pressuring Joe to tell Alice, but he never has a chance to do so. Newton, meanwhile, prepares a post-presentation party, but when Louie, his bookie, shows up demanding money Newton owes him, he hands over the money Joe gave him to insure the coat. The Pendeltons come to the party and Rose tries on the coat and tells Alice that Joe has sold it to her and that she expects to wear it the following evening. Alice is very upset with Joe and, after he tells her that they cannot afford to keep the coat, she ends up choosing the coat over him. Joe goes to spend the night at the office and finds Pendelton sleeping there, as his wife will not let him back in their house until he brings the coat. Joe and Pendelton evolve a scheme to keep both wives happy and decide to have someone steal the coat then claim the insurance money. Joe is elected to rob his own house. Meanwhile, Alice decides to sell the coat to Mrs. Pendelton. After Joe takes the coat, he discovers that Pendelton, who is waiting outside, is being held up by two thugs, who take both their wallets and the coat. When police spot them, the thugs drop the coat in an alley trash can, where it is discovered by restaurant chef Sean O'Mulvaney and his dishwasher Nietsche. O'Mulvaney takes the coat home to his wife Maureen. Meanwhile, Alice's mother reports the robbery to the police, but discovers that Newton did not insure the coat. Mrs. O'Mulvaney is thrilled by the coat and wears it to a lodge party that night, but the fur antagonizes two of the other female guests and a fistfight soon erupts among the husbands and wives, during which the coat is partially destroyed. Joe and Pendelton are at the police station recovering their wallets when the O'Mulvaney group is brought in under arrest for disturbing the peace. The arresting officer produces the torn coat as evidence and Sergeant Clancy struggles to establish ownership and who did what to whom. All is eventually resolved, however, and Alice's mother and uncle return to Oklahoma while Pendelton admires Joe's firmness with his wife and mother-in-law and decides to be much more domineering with his wife. He also gives Joe the general manager job. Alice intends to have the coat repaired, then use the proceeds to cover taxes and to decorate the new nursery that she and Joe have been planning.