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Scattergood Meets Broadway

Scattergood Meets Broadway(1941)


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Scattergood Baines, storekeeper, sage and Good Samaritan of the small New England town of Coldriver, becomes concerned when his neighbor, Elly Drew, plans to sell her home to support her son David, who is in New York, trying to sell a play that he has written. To help Elly, Scattergood offers to lend her the money and then decides to visit Dave in New York to see how he is faring. Meanwhile, in New York, Dave is not the success that he has led his mother to believe. While in the park one day, the struggling playwright meets Peggy Gibson, an aspiring actress working as a secretary. Peggy offers to help Dave sell his play by submitting it to her employers, J. J. Bent and H. C. Bard of B&B Theatrical Enterprises. Bent and Bard, who are shoestring producers with an enormous debt, leap at the opportunity to produce the play because it offers a juicy role for Diana Deane, an actress with a wealthy benefactor. While Scattergood is visiting Dave at his apartment, Peggy rushes in with the good news that her employers are anxious to produce the play. Diana, who has wheedled $15,000 from her wealthy boyfriend, Quentin Van Deusen, to back the play, meets Dave in the producers' office and is attracted to the handsome youth. The unscrupulous Bent and Bard offer to make Dave a partner in the business, and he accepts, unaware that the proposal would make him libel for their business debts. That night, the producers, their new partner, the leading lady and her benefactor celebrate at the Skyline Room, and Quentin begins to resent Diana's attention to Dave. When Scattergood enters the club with Peggy, Dave inadvertantly mentions that the Coldriver storekeeper is a wealthy man, prompting the producers to plot to part Scattergood and his money. Quentin, fed up with Diana's philandering, announces that he is terminating their romance, but agrees to give her the $15,000 to produce the play. Soon after, the producers learn that their assets have been attached to pay previous debts, and they begin to scout for a new backer for the play. Thinking that she might be able to get the money from Scattergood, Diana decides to flirt with him and asks him to finance the play. Meanwhile, Dave, whose new title of producer has caused his head to swell, has a fight with Peggy, and Scattergood advises the boy to return home. When Scattergood tells Diana that he has decided not to back the project, she tries to put him in a compromising position, but Scattergood outsmarts her by bringing his wife Mirandy out of the hotel bedroom. With the promise of a backer gone, Bent, Bard and Diana abscond to Atlantic City with Quentin's $15,000. When Quentin holds Dave responsible for the money, Scattergood promises to back the production, assigns Peggy to the starring role and takes over as producer of the play. On opening night, the confidence men and actress return for their share of the profits, but Scattergood arranges to have them arrested for embezzling Quentin's money. David and Peggy are reunited, and because of his good deed, Scattergood reaps a handsome profit from the successful stage production.