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The Perfect Gentleman

The Perfect Gentleman(1935)

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English aristocrat Major Horatio Chatteris, deep in debt and considered by his sister Harriet and son John to be a dissolute squanderer, decides to leave his home and return a reformed man, so that they can be proud of him. The dejected major is blamed for harming John's chances of being appointed to the prosperous parish of Upper Haddington by the Bishop because of his poor reputation, an appointment that John needed in order to pay back money borrowed to settle some of his father's debt. After promising to pay John back when he returns, the major sets out for London on a train, where he meets singer April Maye, who is going to perform at a London music hall for the first time in her life. April tells the major that she must be a great success or else she will become destitute, and the major, sympathetic to her plight, offers to attend her performance to cheer her on. When April gives a terrible performance, however, and the audience gives her the "razz," the major, appalled by the heckling, upbraids the audience and then joins her on the stage to revive her act. The pair become an instant hit after bringing the house down with their rendition of "Pack Up Your Troubles." The major, who has been made a celebrity after giving his story to a London newspaper, is recognized by bill collector Hitch during one of their performances and is pursued by him for the £47 he owes him. Hitch catches up with the major at a restaurant and coerces him into writing a bad check, thus putting him in jeopardy of going to prison. April manages to prevent disaster by outwitting Hitch and retrieving the check while doing the rumba with him on the dance floor before he leaves for the bank. At April's suggestion, the major agrees to join her act so that he can make enough money to pay his debt. After completing their first London stint, the major takes April to meet his family, where they attend a society auction to raise money for the parish. When the two decide to take over the auction and invigorate it, the scene quickly turns to bedlam, leaving them at odds with Harriet and the others. The major pays John back the money he promised him, but decides to stop touring with April when he overhears a booking agent request that she perform in a West End revue without him. April, who has fallen in love with the major, is heartbroken when he insists that they split. Once again, the major is forced to leave home when Harriet and the Bishop complain about his unseemly association with theater people. Evelyn, John's softhearted fiancée, refuses to accept the major's exile, convinces John of his sacrifices for them and then goes to find him in London. The major turns up at one of April's performances, where he meets her in her dressing room to ask her if her earlier offer of marriage stills stands. The reunited couple become engaged and win the respect of Evelyn and John.