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The female mayor of a small-town ignites local gossip when she falls for a sculptor.
Anne Crandall, the widow of the mayor of Brookhaven, Vermont, assumes her husband's public office following his death. Five years later, Anne's devotion to her civic duty at the cost of her personal life concerns her father-in-law, Jonathan Crandall, Sr. Consequently, when a bolt of lightning beheads the late mayor's statue during a storm one night, Jonathan declares that the bolt was a sign from his son, directing Anne to begin living again. At the urging of her stepdaughter Diana, Anne travels to New York to commission sculptor George Corday to fashion a new statue of her late husband. After buying a frivolous hat, Anne goes to the sculptor's studio and finds him napping. She is about to tiptoe out when a clap of thunder awakens Corday. Incredulous that Anne's glamorous appearance conceals the soul of a small-town mayor, Corday becomes intrigued and questions her about her relationship with her late husband. After eliciting the fact that Anne was married to a much older man, Corday bets a dinner that he can guess her weight within two pounds. When Anne adjusts her weight so that Corday wins the bet, Corday takes her to Leonardo's restaurant, where strip-tease artist Gloria La Verne is performing. Over dinner, Corday's observations about her married life make Anne uncomfortable, and when he accepts her commission, she becomes flustered and spills food on her dress. Anne hurries to the ladies' room to dry her dress and is met by the attendant, who insists upon ironing the garment. After Anne removes her dress, the police raid the restaurant, and the stripper escapes through a window in the ladies' room, grabbing Anne's dress on the way out. The police follow, and when they see Anne, clad only in a slip and a hat similiar to that of the stripper, they assume that she is the ecdysiast and arrest her. As newspaper photographers crowd around to snap her picture, Anne covers her face and identifies herself as "P. Borat Sosa," the name she saw on a jar in Corday's studio. The next day, Anne, chagrined, returns home and claims that Corday is too busy to take the job. Sensing that something is amiss, Jonathan questions Anne about her whereabouts the previous night, and she admits to being jailed for indecent exposure. When Diana becomes distraught over Corday's refusal, Anne tries to console her by describing the sculptor as an unappealing old man with a long beard. Soon after, Corday appears at the Crandalls' door, enchanting Diana and intriguing Jonathan, who invites him to stay in the family's carriage house. Later that evening, Anne begs Corday to keep her arrest secret, and he agrees on condition that she allow him one week to work on the statue. As the week progresses, Diana, smitten by Corday, puts on sophisticated airs and begins to speak French, while Anne adopts a more youthful hair style and pays more attention to her appearance. While at the stonecutter's one day, Anne and Corday are trapped by a rainstorm. Seeking shelter under a statue of Cupid, Corday confesses his love and is about to kiss Anne when Diana drives up in her car to take them home. Later, at Diana's high school piano recital, Corday confides his love for Anne to Jonathan, who cautions him that Anne promised Diana that she would never remarry. Following Jonathan's advice to discuss the issue of marriage with Diana, Corday escorts the girl home, but when he begins to speak of love and marriage, Diana thinks that he is proposing to her. After Diana announces her engagement to Corday, her boyfriend, Gilbert Parker, turns to Anne for help. When Gilbert mistakes Anne's concern for love, Anne feigns infatuation for Gilbert, hoping to bring Diana to her senses. Meanwhile, Jonathan, determined to force Anne out of public office and into Corday's arms, gets drunk and tells newspaper publisher Morton Buchman, Anne's opponent in the mayoral election, the story of her arrest. Buchman publishes the story, and when Diana, who has realized the folly of her engagement, reads the expose and learns that Corday was involved, she demands that he redeem Anne's honor by marrying her. Jonathan's plot backfires, however, when the townsfolk give Anne a vote of confidence and insist that she remain mayor. As Anne marches off to unveil the now finished statue and rededicate herself to the town, Corday returns to New York. One rainy night, Anne starts to cry as Jonathan lectures her about giving up Corday and her chance at happiness. When a lightning bolt strikes the statue and beheads it again, the superstitious citizens take it as a sign and ask Anne to resign. Elated, Anne eagerly consents. When Jesse, Anne's housekeeper, informs her that Corday deliberately fixed the statue's head so that it would fall off, Anne hurries to New York. Arriving in a rainstorm, Anne approaches the door to Corday's studio, but then loses her courage and decides to leave. As she turns to go, a lightning bolt sends her scurrying into the studio.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||Premiere Info:||not available|
|Release Date:||1944||Production Date:||
Video* (2 copies): VA6565 M; M27192; A1-231-2 / 16mm safety: M49268; A2-668-3-4
|Color/B&W:||Black and White||Distributions Co:||Columbia Pictures Corp.|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Columbia Pictures Corp.|
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william gauslow 2012-04-10
Carole Lombard would have been the perfect choice for the female lead in this movie. Irene Dunne is stiff and not enticing in this movie at all.