Cast & Crew
Ina Ray Hutton
At a nightclub, J. Webster Hackett, the president of the House of Milo cosmetics company, enjoys the performance of Ina Ray Hutton and her band. Hackett's jealous wife Maude, the vice-president of the company, is not sure that she wants the glamorous Ina Ray to perform at the firm's upcoming beauty show, however. After the show, Tiny Lewis, an amateur songwriter and full-time "hamburger slinger," sneaks backstage to convince Ina Ray to sing the song he has written for her. Ina Ray tells Tiny to give the composition to her assistant, Babs Cartwright. Promising Tiny an answer within twenty-four hours, Babs puts Tiny's tune on top of a pile of sheet music, and later, it is blown out the window and into Ina Ray's car. Upon returning home, Tiny discovers that his partners and roommates, chemist Bradley Miller and artist Michele, have completed their new formula for a lipstick called "Rosebud." Brad rushes to the corner drugstore to sell the product, and in his eagerness, he applies it to Janet Wilson, an unwary shopper. When Brad kisses Janet to demonstrate Rosebud's durability, she becomes offended and runs from the store. The next day, Brad brings Janet flowers as an apology, and when he tells her about Rosebud, she reveals that she is a beauty shop manager and advises him to enter his product in the beauty show. Meanwhile, at the House of Milo, Edgar Pomeroy, a major buyer, confides to Hackett that he is looking for a new product. Hoping to sell a large order to Pomeroy, Hackett phones P. G. Grimble, an eccentric industrialist, and offers to buy his plants. When Grimble voices a reluctance to sell, Mrs. Hackett invites him to the beauty show to see Ina Ray Hutton. Soon after, Brad, Tiny and Michele appear at the House of Milo to apply for a booth at the show. Informed that they must first pay a $1,000 initiation fee, the trio leaves, despondent. Ina Ray and Babs meanwhile, discover Tiny's song in the car, and Ina Ray decides to feature it in the beauty show and preview it on her radio program. As Tiny slings hamburgers at the café, he switches on the radio and hears that his song has won a $1,000 prize as the beauty show's new theme song. Tiny and the others use his prize money to pay their initiation fee to the beauty society, but Hackett omits their booth number from the program and assigns them an obscure corner. When Grimble, using the alias of "Walker," approaches the booth, he is greeted by Janet, who tells him the story of Rosebud. Later, Tiny meets Pomeroy and Grimble at a café, and they get drunk together and sing Tiny's "Rosebud" song. The tune piques Pomeroy's interest in Rosebud, and he places a huge order. When Mrs. Hackett questions the company's ability to fill the order, Janet suggests calling Grimble and subletting his factories. At the hotel bar, Brad tells Grimble, who he thinks is Walker, his sad story and Walker suggests calling Grimble. Grimble then mischievously slips into an adjoining phone booth and, after instructing his secretary to transfer Brad's call, agrees to meet the chemist the next morning. Meanwhile, Hackett threatens Michele with jail for accepting orders that he can not fill and frightens him into selling Rosebud for $5,000. After Janet discovers the sale, she angrily calls Brad a quitter and storms out of the room. When Tiny tells the story to Babs, she decides to play upon Hackett's fondness for pretty women to retrieve the contract. At the Hackett house, Babs flirts with Hackett and, spying the contract in his coat pocket, snatches it. At that moment, Mrs. Hackett returns home and, upon seeing her husband chasing Babs, smacks him. Babs escapes, and when Grimble arrives at the Rosebud booth the next morning, he presents her with his card and they go to find Brad. Brad arrives at the show just in time to hear Pomeroy award the grand prize to Rosebud and receive the bill of sale from Tiny. When Mrs. Hackett denies Brad the award because he has no factory, Grimble reveals his true identity and announces that he is putting his factories at Brad's service. All ends happily as Brad finds Janet and they reconcile.
Ina Ray Hutton
P. J. Kelly
The working title of this film was Beauty for Sale. This picture was Arthur Dreifuss' first directorial assignment for Columbia. The film also marked the first major role for Ina Ray Hutton, whose all female band was famous during the Big Band era. The 1959 United Artist's film Some Like It Hot, starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe and directed by Billy Wilder was inspired by Hutton's band.