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Sleepy Lagoon

Sleepy Lagoon(1943)

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Radio station owner Sarah Rogers, the head of the women's reform party in the small town of Sleepy Lagoon, needs a malleable candidate for mayor, and decides upon naïve Judy Joyner, who runs a coffee shop. The current mayor, Cyrus Coates, is supported by Sheriff Lem Bates and Judge Samuel Sneed, but Judy's earnest speeches advocating wholesome recreational facilities win the election for her. Judy's victory displeases her fiancé, chiropractor Lancelot Hillie, who complains that she does not have enough time for him anymore. Lancelot changes his mind about Judy's new position when she appoints him civilian defense commisioner, however, and she hopes that he will finally set the date for their wedding after five years of engagement. Meanwhile, Sarah closes all the bars in town, and when Judy recommends re-opening an old amusement park, she also suggests that they contact her uncle, Dudley Joyner. Judy believes that Dudley is the head of a large amusement corporation, but he is actually a repairman and reluctant stooge for racketeer Joe "Brains" Lucarno. When Judy calls him, Dudley states that he cannot help her, but Brains insists that they move in on Sleepy Lagoon to fleece the citizens out of their boom town cash. Judy is delighted to see her uncle, who is being forced by Brains to perpetuate his businessman charade. Time passes as Sarah organizes the townswomen and the park is refurbished. Brains, meanwhile, establishes his stronghold in a subterranean basement, where he installs crooked gambling tables. On opening day at the park, the crowds swarm in, and while Lancelot listens to his favorite singer, Dennis Day, Judy allows herself to be romanced by Lumpy, one of Brains's mugs. The park does a thriving business, as does the secret casino, but Judy remains unaware of the illegal activity as she is preoccupied with Lancelot's lack of jealousy over her increasing involvement with Lumpy. Meanwhile, Cyrus has become sick of women running the town and is determined to regain his office. He, Lem and Samuel begin investigating the casinos, but when they arrest Brains, the racketeer maintains that he was working under Judy's orders, and she is arrested also. Brains keeps Dudley hidden so that he cannot testify on Judy's behalf, and all looks grim for the mayor. When a youngster finds evidence that Dudley is being held at the park, Judy and Lancelot go in disguise to investigate. Despite being separated from Lancelot and chased by Brains's thugs, Judy finds her uncle. Just as they are about to be captured by the criminals, Lancelot reappears with the female auxiliary militia that he has trained. The women round up the racketeers, and a happy romantic conclusion is reached by both Sarah and Dudley, and Judy and Lancelot.