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The Stork Pays Off

The Stork Pays Off(1941)

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Former baron Deak Foster has traded in his beer suds for soap suds and now operates a lucrative laundry racket in New York City. Deak's henchmen, Ear-to-the-Ground Hinkle, Photofinish Farris and Brains Moran, yearn to enter the nightclub business, and consequently, when the Storks' Club, one of the laundry's clients, is unable to pay its bills, the boys beg Deak to let them take over the club. Upon arriving at the club, the trio is met by Irene Perry, who shrewdly tricks them into paying $100 for the business. When, to their surprise, they discover that the establishment is a nursery and not a nitery, they elect to turn the business into a racket and begin to coerce impoverished parents into leaving their children at the club. Deak becomes furious when he discovers what has happened, but changes his mind upon meeting Irene and decides to continue the operation. Enthralled by Irene's charms, Deak refuses to charge the needy children and begins to pay the nursery's bills from his own pocket. Although he has fallen in love with Irene, Deak is reluctant to disclose his feelings because of his unsavory reputation as a racketeer. Meanwhile, Irene's ex-husband, Todd Perry, scion of a wealthy and socially prominent family, decides to seek custody of their daughter Bonnie as it would mean that Todd's father would double his allowance. Learning of Todd's nefarious plans, Deak decides to run for assemblyman, hoping that the post will furnish him with an aura of respectability. Deak, meanwhile, is experiencing business difficulties with rival racketeer Stud Rocco, but is so preoccupied with his courtship of Irene, his nursery and his political campaign that he fails to resolve the problems. Determined to derail Deak's chances for election, Todd swears out a complaint against the Storks' Club, claiming that it is being run as a racket. When Deak and Irene learn that a special committee has been appointed to investigate the club, they labor to make sure that the nursery is in perfect order for the inspection. Just as the committee arrives at the club, however, Brains discovers the body of Six-Fingers Simpson in the kitchen, placed there by Stud. After frantically commandeering a hearse, Deak lugs Six-Fingers' body out of the house before it is discovered and deposits it on Stud's doorstep. Although the committee submits a glowing report about the nursery, the body-in-the-kitchen incident has made Deak realize that he cannot marry Irene until he rectifies his past. To accomplish this, Deak turns himself in to the district attorney and admits his participation in several shady deals. When Deak is brought to trial, however, he proves that he never killed a man and never used violence. Impressed by Deak's desire to become a good citizen, the judge sentences him to a twenty-four hour jail term and a $5,000 fine. Meanwhile, the good publicity accruing from Deak's efforts to redeem himself has won the hearts of the citizens of New York and he is overwhelmingly elected to the assembly. Irene is the first to tell Deak that his past has been forgiven and that they can now plan their new future together.