powered by AFI
In Allentown, after seeing a burlesque show called "That's My Gal," confidence men Harry Coleman and Louie Koblentz decide to buy the show. They visit producer Benny Novak's hotel room, where they explain their plan to sell interest in the show, while making it so lewd that the town's mayor will be forced to close it down on opening night, allowing them to keep most of the backers' money for themselves. Convinced that their plan will work, Benny agrees to produce the show, in which Harry and Louie sell interests totaling 250 percent. When backer Joshua Perkins arrives at the rehearsal, one of the dancers demonstrates a provocative dance called the "snake hips," and Perkins collapses and dies. Because Perkins leaves no heirs, Natalie Adams, who works for the state, takes over Perkins' estate, which includes a fifty-one percent share in "That's My Gal." Natalie visits the gang at their office and asks to see their account books, but they tell her they have been sent out for auditing. Worried about her prying, Benny decides to distract Natalie by taking her out to the Jungle Club that evening and plying her with champagne. Benny is the one who gets drunk, however, and by the time he awakes the next morning, Natalie has already arrived at the show's rehearsal. After a "jury" of twelve citizens judges the show to be sordid, Natalie offers Benny money from the state treasury in order to improve it, thereby protecting government money already invested in the show. When State Assemblyman McBride learns that state money is going into the show, he angrily denounces Governor Thompson, against whom he is campaigning. Natalie arranges a meeting, in which the governor tells the gang that if the show is a failure, he will be voted out during the upcoming election. Benny insists that Harry and Louie buy back the oversold interest in the show, but none of the backers will sell. The show opens and in the audience are both McBride and the governor. Backstage, the show's backers speak with Natalie, who realizes that the show is oversold. When Natalie explains this to them, they frantically sell their interest back to Benny. Natalie then attempts to stop the show, which is a huge success, so Benny offers to donate his forty-nine percent interest to the state. Overjoyed, Natalie announces the news to the grateful audience.