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Road to Utopia

Road to Utopia(1946)

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When a wealthy elderly couple is visited by Duke Johnson, an old friend who they thought was dead and have not seen in thirty-five years, he recounts the story of their early adventures: At the turn of the century, during the Alaska gold rush, Duke, a vaudeville performer, and his partner Chester Hooton, are forced out of town after a pair of murderous thieves run onstage while being chased by the police, and Duke and Chester are exposed as charlatans. The thieves, Sperry and McGurk, killed a man for a map to a gold mine belonging to Sal Van Heusen. Sal arrives in Skagway, Alaska to seek the help of saloon owner Ace Larson, an old friend of her father, who is now crooked. Meanwhile, Duke and Chester board a ship bound for Alaska as stowaways, hoping to cash in on the gold rush, and find the map to the mine in Sperry and McGurk's berth. The thieves hold them up, but Duke and Chester outsmart them and escape disguised as Sperry and McGurk, leaving them tied up onboard. In Skagway, the town waits in terror as the "murderers" arrive and enter the saloon. Ace, who has hired Sal to sing in his saloon, plots with his girl friend Kate and his partner LeBec to swindle Sal out of her mine. While Sal seduces Duke and Chester, believing they are Sperry and McGurk, LeBec absconds with Duke's half of the map. Searching for the mine, LeBec, Kate and Ace travel into the frozen North by dog sled to Dawson City. Duke and Chester follow and, taking Ace's bait, rescue Kate in the snow. Sal arrives, and all four stay together in a cabin, where the women use their wiles to get Chester's half of the map, which is hidden in his undershirt. Sal falls in love with Duke, who tells her his true identity, and she confesses that the mine is hers. Kate convinces Sal that she can only save Duke's life by turning the map over to Ace, so she steals it and escapes with Kate. When Sperry and McGurk arrive, Duke and Chester again outsmart them and escape back to Skagway, where they elude a crowd of townspeople ready to hang them as Sperry and McGurk. Ace, LeBec, Kate and Sal, meanwhile, have returned to Skagway, where Sal confesses that she is in love with one of the "wanted" men and only went along with Ace's scheme in order to save them. Sal is tied up, but Duke and Chester steal the map from Ace's safe, rescue Sal, then blow up the saloon with a stick of dynamite after Sperry and McGurk enter it. Ace's men chase Duke, Chester and Sal to the North Pole, where the ice splits, leaving Sal and Chester on one side and Duke on the other. Duke throws them the map and faces Ace's men. Thirty-five years later, Duke meets the grown son of Chester and Sal, who is the spitting image of Duke, and Chester says they adopted him.