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Moonlight in Havana

Moonlight in Havana(1942)

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Eddie Daniels, the manager of the New York Blue Sox, is hounded by the press to pick a replacement for his star catcher, Johnny "Whizzer" Norton, the "bad boy of baseball," whose suspension from the team the previous year led to the team's downfall. Meanwhile, an unemployed and penniless Johnny is forced to sing for his supper by café owner Mac. Theatrical producer Barney Crane and singer Gloria Jackson hear Johnny's singing from the café's kitchen, and Crane immediately offers him a contract. Johnny tries to tell the producer that he is only able to sing when he is suffering from a cold, but when Crane offers him a singing engagement in Havana, where the Blue Sox are in spring training, Johnny agrees to the deal. Mac then chastises the ballplayer, as he knows Johnny plans to quit singing as soon as he is reinstated by his old team. Crane's theatrical troupe sets sail for Cuba, where they rehearse their nightclub show for the passengers. During the cruise, Johnny begins to fall in love with Gloria, but he is unable to tell her his true purpose for joining the troupe. Upon arriving in Havana, Johnny runs into Patsy Clark, the daughter of Blue Sox owner Joe Clark. Despite the objections of manager Daniels, Clark agrees to reinstate Johnny, but only for a two-week probationary period. The probation, however, precludes Johnny from going into a nightclub, let alone performing in one. That night, Johnny confesses all to Crane, and the ballplayer is persuaded to stay in the show. Gloria and Crane then spend the night helping Johnny catch a cold, so that he will be able to sing the next day. After their rehearsal, Patsy once again snatches Johnny away from Gloria, but the singer quickly becomes jealous, unaware of Johnny's true vocation. Johnny returns to the team, where he learns that Clark may lose the club unless he can arrange for new financial backers, which is contingent on the team's improvement. Clark then arranges for a practice game against a group of all-stars on the same night as the nightclub opening. Thinking that Johnny is going to leave the show, Crane and Martinez, the owner of the nightclub, break Johnny's story to the news media. Gloria accuses Johnny of joining the show as a publicity stunt, so the upset ballplayer quits the troupe. The next morning, Patsy awakens Crane to tell him that Johnny has quit the team so that he can be in the show. After Crane stops her from flying back to the United States, Gloria learns the truth and tries to convince Johnny not to give up his baseball career. Daniels and Crane then fight over whether Johnny will sing or play baseball, but their argument becomes moot when a rainstorm washes out the game. In order to catch a cold for that night's performance, Crane convinces Johnny to kiss the ill Patsy, much to the chagrin of both Gloria and Daniels. Backstage at the show's opening, the now-sick Johnny confesses his love to Gloria, ignoring his new "engagement" to Patsy. Johnny and Daniels then fake a fistfight, and afterward, the two young ladies run to their respective men. The nightclub opening is a great success, and because of the publicity gained by Johnny, Clark gets new financial backers for his team.