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The Singing Marine

The Singing Marine(1937)


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Marine Bob Brent, known to his friends as Arkansas, is in great demand for parties in San Diego as his romantic singing puts women in the mood for love. Personally, however, he is too shy to ask a woman for a date. When he backs out of a party because he lacks a date, Sergeant Mike Kelly decides to give him a little help. Learning that Bob has a crush on cashier Peggy Randall, Mike begs her to encourage Bob's romancing. Peggy is willing, but in the end, she practically has to ask Bob out herself. At the picnic, while Bob's singing makes everyone else romantic, Peggy waits in vain for a pass from Bob, but in the end is charmed. Peggy tells Bob that she is going to New York to represent San Diego as a singer on an amateur hour. Kelly takes up a collection to send Bob to the New York competition as the Marine's representative. Peggy and Bob, who is on furlough, ride the same bus across the country and vow to support each other. At the contest, Peggy is too nervous to perform well. Bob, on the other hand, is offered a contract with promoters Phinney and Fowler. True to his vow, Bob hires Peggy as his secretary. To boost Bob's reputation, Phinney hires five hundred women to meet Bob at his hotel. Bob begins to believe his own publicity and becomes conceited. Just then, the Marines appear to remind Bob that his furlough is up and he is being transfered to Shanghai along with his company. Phinney tries to get Bob out of his assignment, and when he cannot, he and Fowler sail for Shanghai, hoping to set up engagements there. Because they missed the transport, Bob and Kelly must take a private ship to Shanghai, where Kelly makes sure that Bob knows his fellow Marines are offended by his attitude. Kelly introduces Bob to Ma Marine, who runs a nightclub in Shanghai and acts as a mother to men overseas. Peggy is also on board. Although she has fallen in love with Bob, he is oblivious. When he arrives in Shanghai, Bob is restricted to quarters for missing the transport. Phinney arranges for Bob to do his broadcast over the telephone, and Bob gets most of the way through it before he is caught. Learning that Ma Marine must pay her back rent or lose her club, Kelly asks Bob for $5,000. When Bob honestly responds that he does not have the money, Kelly is furious, believing that Bob has prospered from his singing career. Meanwhile, Phinney and Fowler have opened a nightclub called The Singing Marine. At first Bob refuses to sing there, but when he learns that Peggy will be there, he agrees. Opening night is very successful, but at the end of the evening Bob announces that the club is closing. He scolds his fellow Marines for not paying Ma what they owe her, and presents her with the papers for the nightclub. Ma asks Bob to dedicate her new club by singing "The Song of the Marines." While singing, Bob finally realizes that he loves Peggy and respects the Marines.