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The Monte Carlo Story

The Monte Carlo Story(1957)

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Dino della Fiana, an impoverished, Italian count turned professional gambler, lives on a modest boat in the harbor at Monte Carlo. Several of the servants at the hotel and other local residents have backed Dino's ventures at the casino's gambling tables, but he has had a long run of bad luck and owes his "investors" ten thousand dollars. The backers are naturally eager to recover their investments and, as Dino has a reputation as a lover, attempt to find him a rich wife among the hotel's guests. After Dino rejects two potential wives, he is excited by the arrival of Maria, the Marquise de Crevecoeur, who is presumed to be an extremely rich widow. However, M. Duval, who has followed her from Paris, is also anxious to meet her. Duval knows that Maria is actually a broke, professional gambler on a losing streak and recovers the jewelry she bought from his firm with a bad check. Later, in the hotel dining room, maƮtre d' Hector, one of Dino's investors, seats him at a single table next to Maria's and provides him with an opulent meal while some of the other investors look on, nervously. Maria is suitably impressed by Dino's apparent wealth and he with hers. Over several days, they court each other while Dino's friends worry about the mounting bills. Maria persuades Duval to let her rent her jewelry and promises that she will have cash the following day, courtesy of Dino. That evening, Maria arrives, dripping in jewels, for dinner at the Sporting Club. After dinner, in her hotel room, the romantic sparring continues to the accompaniment of a violinist provided by the investors. When the count arrives for breakfast the next morning, he jokingly asks Maria to marry him and they both admire a large yacht entering the harbor. The yacht is owned by American millionaire Homer Hinkley, who is on board with his eighteen-year-old daughter Jane, and two friends, Mr. and Mrs. Freeman, who hail from Homer's hometown of Muncie, Indiana. Eventually, Dino and Maria decide to marry and honeymoon on Dino's yacht, once he can afford to have the motor repaired. Dino confesses to Maria that he has no money, but assumes that she has more than enough for both of them. Maria, in turn, tells him about her impoverished state and returns the jewelry to Duval, advising him that the count is also broke. Unpon learning of Dino's predicament, his investors are unhappy, while Maria decides to try to hook a certifiably rich man. Meanwhile, Homer insists on steering his yacht into the harbor and crashes into Dino's. Maria courts Homer, a widower who has made his fortune in tin cans, and introduces Dino as her brother. Dino's investors urge him to romance Jane, who is somewhat interested in him and wants to learn "society" customs. After they all have dinner together, they retire to the casino, where Dino manages to lose some of Homer's money. Another evening finds Maria enchanting Homer by serenading him with "Back Home Again in Indiana." Jane is puzzled by the relationship between Maria and Dino, but arranges to have a new motor installed in Dino's yacht. After Maria announces that she is leaving for Paris, Homer asks her to marry him. Even after Maria tells him the truth about her "brother" and that she is a "fortune-hunting" gambler, Homer still wants to marry her. Meanwhile, Jane, who has a crush on Dino and is unconcerned about the difference in their ages, mentions a combination of numbers related to their ages that compels Dino to run off to the casino to try the formula at the roulette table. Dino wins handsomely and the investors gather excitedly. However, he then begins to lose and, thanks to Maria's advice, loses even more before one of the investors slugs him and he is dragged away with what is left of his winnings. Later, Dino says farewell to Maria as she prepares to leave with Homer, then asks Jane to contact him when she eventually marries, in order that he can dance at her wedding. The next day, Dino pays off his investors, swears he will never gamble again and leaves for Naples. As Dino passes Homer on the open sea, Maria suddenly tells Homer that she belongs with Dino and thanks him as he turns the yacht toward Dino's. Soon, Maria and Dino are heading off together while the ever-philosophical Homer smiles and hugs his daughter.