Jan 5, 2012

The Doughgirls (1944)

After eloping to Pottsville, Maryland, Arthur Halstead, his new wife Vivian and her dog Duke arrive in Washington, D.C, where Arthur is aide to Stanley Slade, Administrator of Inter-Bureau Co-ordination. Housing is scarce in wartime Washington, and their hotel rooms are still occupied by Julian and Edna Cadman, another newly married couple. When Edna, who is furious at being turned out of the suite, discovers that Vivian is an old friend from her days as a showgirl, she cheerfully demands that the two couples share the rooms. When Nan Dillon, a third newlywed showgirl chum, knocks on the door, having seen Duke in the lobby, Edna insists that Nan and her husband Tom, move in as well, despite Vivian's protests. While the women are making their arrangements, Elizabeth Brush Cartwright, commander of the War Wives Relief Corps, calls to sign them up as volunteers and informs them that they will be allowed to work after they are investigated by the FBI. After Elizabeth leaves, Nan fears that she will not pass the investigation because Tom was sent to the hospital with measles before they could actually be married. A few minutes later, Julian's ex-wife, Sylvia Cadmen, arrives and informs Edna that Julian's divorce is not yet final, meaning that Edna and Julian are not legally married. To make matters worse, Sylvia now wants Julian back, because war shortages have created a demand for his process to convert soybeans to other products. Finally, Vivian learns from a radio broadcast that the man who married them in Pottsville was actually a burglar, posing as a justice of the peace. She, too, is not legally married. Then Julian arrives, to general consternation, with Natasha Moskoroff, a veteran Russian Nazi fighter, who announces that she likes the communal atmosphere in their suite better than the consulate, and will sleep there. When Arthur learns that his marriage is not legal, he refuses either to marry Vivian or pay the hotel bill until everyone else has left the suite. Several days later, when the hotel threatens to kick them out if the bill is not paid within an hour, Natasha pawns Vivian's jeweled clips, angering Arthur, who had given them to her as a gift. While Natasha is gone, Tom and Nan attempt to get married, but Vivian has used their marriage license as a laundry list, and the judge refuses to marry them without it, even though Tom, a soldier, is being sent overseas the next day. In the meantime, the hotel manager has rented the suite to radio newscaster, Breckinridge Drake, who generously agrees to share the suite with the women. A month later, Vivian, who has gone to work as a secretary to Slade, is surprised when Slade proposes to her. He gives her a ring, which infuriates Arthur when he sees it. To prove to Arthur that she really loves him, Vivian decides to pawn the ring and redeem the clips. Then Julian learns that Buckley, his boss, has fallen in love with Sylvia and convinced her to let the divorce become final. Having completed their investigation, the FBI demands that the women leave town, but before they can enforce this, Nan is invited to have lunch at the White House, where Tom is to be decorated. Determined to be married before lunch, Tom returns with the judge. Meanwhile, Arthur, seeing the redeemed clips, agrees to marry Vivian, and a triple wedding follows.


Genre: Comedy

Suzianne's rating:


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