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Four's a Crowd

Four's a Crowd(1938)


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Learning that owner Patterson "Pat" Buckley is planning to close down the newspaper where she works, reporter Jean Christy suggests that he rehire former managing editor, Robert Kensington Lansford, who now has a public relations business. Pat refuses, so Jean approaches Bob on her own. Bob is reluctant until he learns that Pat is engaged to Lorri Dillingwell, the granddaughter of millionaire John P. Dillingwell, a man Bob wants as a client. The next morning, Bob offers to rescue the paper if Pat will give him complete control in running it. He also tells Pat that Jean is in love with him, and Pat is secretly pleased. When Bob, whose motto is "if you can't give them someone to love, give them someone to hate," suggests they could increase the paper's circulation by naming Dillingwell an enemy of the people, however, Pat objects because he wants to protect Lorri. Pat is overruled when Bob reminds him of their agreement. Lorri and Pat quarrel over the paper's attack on her grandfather and she breaks up with him. Later, Bob sneaks into Dillingwell's estate, hoping to convince him that he needs to improve his now sullied image. Dillingwell does not care about his image, but Bob challenges him to a toy train race which he wins by greasing the tracks used by Dillingwell's trains. Impressed by the trick, Dillingwell agrees to hire Bob as his publicist, after which Bob convinces Dillingwell to give money to charity as a public relations ploy. Pat now believes that Jean is in love with him, while Lorri thinks she is in love with Bob, and Bob and Jean are in love with each other. Meanwhile, Bob asks Dillingwell to use an assumed name and buy the land owned by the newspaper. When Jean discovers the ruse, Bob asks her not to print the truth. He explains that his public relations campaigns are designed to force wealthy men to donate to good causes. Feeling that Bob has lied to her, Jean agrees to elope with Pat. Bob and Lorri follow them and at the last minute, Jean marries Bob while Lorri marries Pat.