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Stand-In

Stand-In(1937)

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Remind Me

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Cranky old Fowler Pettypacker, head of the banking firm of Pettypacker & Sons, decides to disregard the recommendation made by his vice-president, Atterbury Dodds, that the firm should not sell Colossal Film Company, which has been losing money, to the Hollywood Cinema Finance company, headed by shyster Ivor Nassau, for half its value to get rid of it. Atterbury, considered to be the most brilliant brain developed by Wall Street in the past ten years, wants to protect the investment of the firm's 30,000 stockholders, so he offers to go to Hollywood to investigate. Pettypacker agrees, but warns Atterbury not to return if he fails. In Hollywood, Nassau, who is infamous for making money by closing and selling studios, plots with star Thelma Cheri, her fiancé, foreign director Koslofski and press agent Tom Potts to drive the studio under through expensive retakes on their current picture and to try to influence Atterbury. Arriving wide-eyed at the sights of the film capital, Atterbury fortunately meets Cheri's stand-in, Lester Plum, when she jumps into his limousine and takes off her shoes. Later, Atterbury returns a shoe she left behind in the limo, and Lester, who knows the business intimately, having once been a child star, offers herself to the naïve and shy Atterbury as his secretary. Oblivious to Lester's flirtations, Atterbury learns dance steps from her which he uses with Cheri at Koslofski's party, thus provoking Lester's jealousy and ire. After a preview screening of Cheri's latest film, Sex and Satan , producer Douglas Quintain, who made Cheri into a star and still loves her, calls the film a "turkey" and urges Atterbury to "junk it," rather than try to save it with retakes. Koslofski advises expensive retakes and blames the problems on Quintain's drunkenness. When Cheri says that Koslofski's accusations are true, Quintain quits and goes on a drinking binge, but Atterbury arranges an audience preview and learns from the reactions that Quintain was right. Attenbury then finds Quintain and using jujitsu, which he has learned from Lester, gets him into a taxi, where Quintain drinks a case of beer and sobers up by the morning. The only way to save the studio is to recut the picture, but Cheri's contract stipulates that she must approve the editing. Realizing that Cheri's contract will be considered breached if she is caught in a scandal, Atterbury takes her drinking. In the early hours of the morning, a drunken Cheri slips under the table of a club, and when Atterbury joins her, their "romance" makes headlines. Pettypacker reads the news and fires Atterbury, then agrees to sell the studio to Nassau. After Lester berates Atterbury for being unconcerned about the studio employees who will lose their jobs, Atterbury convinces the skeptical employees to work with Quintain for forty-eight hours for no pay to remake the film as a comedy, rather than lose their jobs if the film is scrapped and the deal with Nassau is consummated. Nassau is then ceremoniously thrown over the studio wall, and after Atterbury dictates to Lester a telegram informing Pettypacker of the situation, he consults his checklist of things to do, sees that he has written "Propose to Miss Plum," and asks her to marry him. She accepts and they hesitatingly kiss.