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Timber Queen

Timber Queen(1944)

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Air Force pilot Russell Evans gets a medical discharge from combat duty in the South Pacific. When he returns home, Russ goes to the Golden Goose nightclub to give a message to singer Elaine Graham from her husband Ken, a fellow pilot and Russ's business partner, who died in an air battle. Russ is surprised to learn from Elaine and her friend, Lil Boggs, that Ken squandered most of his fortune before they married, and sold his interest in their lumber business to their partner, Harold Talbot. When Russ discovers that Talbot paid a mere ten percent of what the property was worth, he breaks off their partnership, and promises to help Elaine regain her rightful inheritance. To that end, Russ and Elaine borrow $10,000 from Golden Goose co-owner Smacksie Golden, and promise to repay it as well as Ken's $10,000 gambling debt once the timber is cut and sold. Russ, Elaine and Lil then move to the Pacific Northwest and begin logging operations with a small group of faithful workers, including Milt Holmes, who falls for Elaine. Lumberjacks Joe Birdsell, Barney and Rawson leave Talbot to work for Russ, but unknown to Russ, Joe secretly informs Talbot on their progress. When it appears that they are becoming competitive with him, Talbot orders Joe to sabotage their operations. Joe destroys the "skyline" section of trees, so Russ creates another, but Barney is killed when the top of the tree he is cutting splits and crushes him. Although Russ's crew quits, he continues undaunted. Smacksie, meanwhile, gets in trouble with his co-owners because of his loan to Russ and leaves the city to hide out with Russ. Russ's business is failing because he now has no crew, and to help out, Smacksie lures his partners, Rodney and Wenzel, to the forest and convinces them that it is their patriotic duty to become lumberjacks, as they are unable to enlist because of their criminal records and health problems. When Russ's business soon begins to outpace Talbot's again, Talbot blows up the shore line and dams the river so that Russ will not be able to float their logs downriver. While Russ and Smacksie's pal Squirrel go to confront Talbot, Russ instructs Milt and Joe to blow up the dam to let the logs through. Smacksie and Rodney rough up Rawson and Joe, who are defying Russ's orders, but Rawson blames Russ for the sabotage, and Elaine, who has doubted Russ's integrity, starts to believe him. However, Milt sees that Elaine still loves Russ, and gives up his pursuit. On Russ's behalf, Smacksie sets the dynamite and is nearly killed when Talbot and Joe try to set it off while he is planting it. Milt knocks out Talbot and fights with Joe, and Smacksie joins in the fight. As soon as the saboteurs are tied up, Russ returns in a plane with dynamite rigged to the bottom and bombs the dam with a direct hit. The log jam is cleared, but Russ's plane falters and crashes. Russ and Squirrel are unharmed, however, and Elaine's faith in Russ is restored.