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Miss Tatlock's Millions

Miss Tatlock's Millions(1948)

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Movie stuntman Tim Burke is approached by Denno Noonan, caretaker for wealthy Californian heir Schuyler Tatlock, who wishes to hire him to impersonate Schuyler. Noonan explains that Schuyler, a happy-go-lucky idiot and pyromaniac, accidentally burned himself to death years earlier in Hawaii, but Noonan has pretended he was still alive and living in Hawaii so that he could keep his job. Schuyler's grandparents have recently died, and Noonan needs Schuyler's presence at the reading of the will. Promised that the job will only take three-days, Burke accepts and, after dying his hair dark, joins Noonan at the Tatlock estate. Burke's resemblance to the real Schuyler is so close that even Schuyler's younger sister Nan believes her loony brother has returned from Hawaii. Schuyler's uncles and aunt, Miles, Gifford and Cassie Van Alen, bicker over who will get their father's vast millions until the will is read and they learn that he left everything to his wife, who died one hour after he did. The Tatlock's maid, Cora, then presents a letter from the deceased Mrs. Tatlock, in which she stipulated that Schuyler and Nan are to inherit the entire estate, but that Schuyler is to administer Nan's inheritance until she is twenty-one years old. Burke refuses to impersonate Schuyler for life, but Noonan begs him to stay long enough for Noonan to buy a one-way train ticket, as he fears arrest if anyone learns the truth. While Noonan is gone, Nan looks after her idiot "brother," and Burke learns that she has a crush on her cousin, Cassie's playboy son Nicky. Nicky bullies Burke, as he believes he is helpless, and Burke becomes outraged when he hears Miles, Gifford and Cassie scheming to marry Nicky to Nan so that they can control the inheritance. Acquiescing to his mother, Nicky romances innocent Nan, and when Noonan returns, Burke refuses to leave Nan alone with her avaricious family. While eavesdropping, Burke falls through the ceiling of the greenhouse when he hears Nicky propose to Nan and receives a blow to the head which knocks him out. When he revives, he speaks as himself, causing Nan to declare that her brother has been miraculously cured. Nan undertakess to re-educate Burke while he recovers from his accident, and Burke finds himself falling in love with her. Nan is confused by her own feelings of ardor for her brother, and loses interest in Nicky. When Cassie discovers Noonan and Burke's secret, she insists that Burke continue to live as Schuyler for another two years in Hawaii, until Nan comes of age, because if Schuyler is proved dead, the inheritance automatically reverts to a flower arranging society. Burke accepts the offer after Cassie agrees not to force Nicky and Nan to marry. Nan is led to believe that Burke and Noonan are leaving because Burke has had a relapse. Two years later in Hawaii, Noonan reads a description of an arsonist who sounds exactly like the real Schuyler. Realizing that Burke is truly heartsick over Nan, Noonan brings the real Schuyler, who is alive, with his Hawaiian wife and two children, back to California to reunite with his family. Noonan then brings Nan to Hawaii, where she and Burke can finally give in to their love for each other.