powered by AFI
Louisa Benson's offer to give the U. S. Government all of her wealth, amounting to more than $200 million, is refused because the gift is made in the form of a personal check. Distressed, Louisa consults psychiatrist Victor Stephanson and tells him the story of her life, in which every man she married died shortly after the wedding. Rebelling against her money-hungry mother, Louisa, who wants a simple life, rejects Leonard Crawley, her hometown's richest boy, to marry Edgar Hopper, a carefree storekeeper with little interest in money. Their marriage is happy until Leonard ridicules the threadbare manner in which Edgar supports his wife. Stung, Edgar becomes a successful merchant--ruining Crawley in the process--and literally works himself to death, leaving Louisa a rich young widow. She goes to Paris and meets and marries taxi driver Larry Flint, who is also an unsuccessful modern artist and the inventor of a machine that converts sound into oil paintings. Their union is idyllic until Louisa feeds classical music into the machine and creates a very successful painting. By building more machines and using music, Larry becomes an enormously rich artist until he gets entangled in his machines and is killed, leaving Louisa even wealthier. For her next husband she chooses millionaire-industrialist Rod Anderson on the premise that an already wealthy man would change her luck. Rod's neglect of his empire for Louisa perversely triples his fortune. She persuades him to retire to a farm, and Rod is killed by an angry bull he mistakenly attempts to milk. Louisa's fourth husband is song-and-dance man Jerry "Pinky" Benson, who has worked in the same dingy nightclub for years performing a clown act so corny that customers never look up from their food or drink. All is perfect until Pinky, at Louisa's suggestion, goes on without costume or makeup; he does his number as a ballad and is a sensation. He rapidly becomes a top movie star but he is trampled to death by his adoring fans at a premiere . As Louisa finishes her story, the Internal Revenue Service calls Dr. Stephanson to tell him Louisa's check is good, and he faints, having thought her wealth a fantasy. A janitor who shuffles in as Louisa is trying to revive Stephanson turns out to be Leonard Crawley, her first beau, who never regained his wealth. Louisa marries him, and they go to live on a rundown farm. There they are ecstatically poor until a hole in their field threatens their happiness when it begins to spout oil. To Louisa's relief, they learn it is merely a break in an oil company pipeline.