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Riding High

Riding High(1943)

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Remind Me

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When her burlesque show Strip, Strip, Hooray! closes, dancer Ann Castle returns home to her father's Grenada Silver Mine in the Arizona desert, and learns his new partner, Steve Baird, has not yet paid him the $1,000 for the partnership. Steve has been trying to interest his friends in becoming investors in the mine, but to no avail. Ann is hired as a featured performer at Tess Connors' Bubbling Well guest ranch, and angrily fends off Steve's advances because she believes he is a cheat. Counterfeiter Mortimer J. Slocum becomes interested in Steve's situation and, after befriending him, gives him $20,000 in counterfeit $1,000 bills, in an effort to become a partner in the mine. Before Steve realizes that the money is counterfeit, he flashes the bills in front of friends, who believe that the mine has a mother lode and give Steve the $1,000 he has been seeking. Steve tries to return the money to Slocum after he realizes it is fake, but circumstances intervene to prevent him from unloading it. Ann then expresses new interest in Steve now that he can pay Dad, and after she performs in the ranch's show that night, Steve romances her by the lake, unaware that Tess is also romancing Slocum. The next day, dim-witted sheriff Bob "Foggy" Day and his deputy make an earnest effort to capture Slocum spending the counterfeit bills, and insist on searching Slocum, his room and Steve. Despite some close calls, Steve and Slocum outwit Foggy by slipping the envelope of money into Ann's purse. Ann attempts to mail the envelope, believing it is a letter to her aunt, but it is returned for insufficient postage. At dinner, Foggy reveals Slocum and Steve's subterfuge, and Steve's friends demand their checks back, even after Dad appears and reports that he has hit a mother lode of copper. Slocum then bets the counterfeit $20,000 that Tess's chuckwagon can beat rancher Frenchy McGuire's wagon in the annual chuckwagon race. Following orders, Frenchy's hired hand Shorty switches the racing order sign on her wagon. The next day, Tess angrily demands that the sign be corrected, and Shorty blames the sabotage on Slocum. In the ensuing mêlée, Foggy's gun accidentally discharges, and the horses pulling Tess's wagon take off with Ann and Slocum aboard. Neither Ann nor Slocum know how to guide the horses, and much to Slocum's dismay, half of the wagon drops off as he sawed it the previous night, thinking that it was McGuire's wagon. Steve races on horseback to catch up with the wagon, and all the other wagons join the premature race. When Tess's wagon begins to lose with Steve at the reins, Slocum throws counterfeit bills behind them. The competing wagons slow to catch the money, and Tess's wagon comes in first, earning Steve the $1,000 prize. Now that he has proof of his counterfeiting, Foggy arrests Slocum, and Steve refuses to accept McGuire's $20,000 check because Slocum cheated. McGuire nevertheless insists on giving Steve the money as an investment in the mine. As he is being hauled away, Slocum advises Tess to marry Foggy, and Steve then revives a fainted Ann in a manner characteristic of their loving relationship: with a splash of cold water.