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Good Girls Go to Paris

(1939 b 77')

En: 6 Ed: 5

A waitress falls in love with a professor who is engaged to a woman in a wealthy family. The waitress also becomes involved with that family and tries to help them solve their problems.

         At Brand University students make fun of the new teacher Ronald Brooke (Melvyn Douglas) who is from England and is teaching Greek Mythology. They discover they were talking to him, and he refers to Aesop’s fable about the wolf in sheep’s clothing. His attitude wins them over.

         A supervisor asks the waitress Jenny Swanson (Joan Blondell) if she shortened her skirt. She waits on Ronald and serves him tea and shows him how to dunk the teabag.

         Outside on the campus Ronald sees Jenny posing and asks for his newspaper. She says she would like to go to Paris. She tells how the boy’s father gives the girl money to go to Paris. He says that is blackmail. They discuss if it is legal. He tells her the fable about the sick lion who asked the fox to come into his cave; but the fox notices that none of the footprints led out of the cave. Joan is hit by a car, and Ronald reprimands the driver Ted Dayton Jr. (Stanley Brown).  Jenny says she is all right and gets a ride with Ted.

         Ronald teaches, and time passes to his final lecture. In the tea place Ronald learns that Jenny went to Hansenville with Ted. Students ask the professor if he is losing his favorite waitress.

         Ted Dayton Sr. (Clarence Kolb) questions Jenny and his son about whether he proposed to her in writing. He says she is lying, and the older Ted persuades a plainclothes officer not to arrest her.

         Ronald answers the door, and Jenny comes in out of the rain. He asks her to tell him about her trouble. She admits she asked Dayton Sr. for money. She says she had letters from Ted in her bag but did not tell him about them because she felt a flutter in her stomach. He says that was her conscience. She says she has to leave town tonight. She says she will go home to Mapleleaf. He tells her to follow her flutter, and the right man will come along. He warns her not to accept gifts from men. He says good girls can go to Paris too. He says he is leaving tomorrow too. He is getting married and then going back to England. She sees his picture of Sylvia. He gives her Aesop’s Fables. She leaves for her train. She says she will get rides with her thumb. He gives her some money and calls it a loan. They say they like each other, and she leaves. He gives her his address in London and an umbrella. She leaves. Ronald answers the phone and learns that Tom is leaving tonight, and he says he will take him to the station.

         Joan buys a ticket to New York City. By the train Ronald introduces Jenny to Tom Brand (Alan Curtis), his future brother-in-law. She kisses Ronald and gets on the train. Ronald explains to Tom that he is like her father confessor. Tom gets on the train too.

         On the train Jenny tells Tom that she also accepts hospitality. She explains that she had to leave town because she tried to blackmail a college boy. He says she could try again, but she says her flutter won’t let her. He says it will be a handicap in New York. She says she should be going to Mapleleaf, but she only got half a flutter. He asks her to wait for him. He lets her use his drawing room, and he sleeps in her berth. The porter asks her if it is a mistake, and she says it is hospitality.

         Tom has taken Jenny to a nightclub in New York. Tom tells her the woman dancing with Paul Kingston is his mother. Tom tells Jenny they will do the town, and they go to various places. A man asks to talk to Tom alone. Sylvia Brand (Joan Perry) is dancing with Dennis Jeffers (Henry Hunter). Jenny hears Dennis says he is the man Sylvia loves even though she is getting married. Sylvia talks to her brother Tom on the way out. Tom tells Jenny that Schultz is pressing him for $5,000 he owes him. Jenny asks him about Sylvia and Dennis. She asks if Sylvia is in love with Ronald. Tom is drunk, and they leave.

         Jenny helps Tom walk into the mansion where he lives. They go upstairs and into his bedroom. She puts the blankets over him and goes out, bumping into his mother Caroline Brand (Isabel Jeans) on the stairs. Jenny says she tried to stop Tom from getting drunk. His father Olaf Brand (Walter Connolly) hears her and shouts, coming out of his room. Caroline says Jenny is a friend of Sylvia. Olaf says his throat is sore again. He says the house is cold. She suggests he sweat and offers to fix his throat with hot lard and turpentine and a Swedish drink. Olaf has Caroline call Chambers to get those items.

         Chambers goes into the kitchen, and Sylvia with Dennis talks to him. Jeffers (Howard C. Hickman) is up too, and Dennis says hello to his dad.

         For the first time in three years Olaf is coming down to breakfast. He is the first one at the table and says they are all late. Tom comes in and sits down. Caroline brings Jenny in, and Tom is surprised. Olaf likes Jenny. Caroline introduces Jenny to Tom. Olaf asks Jenny what he should eat for breakfast, and she says a herring. He orders it. Sylvia comes in and sees Jenny. Olaf says Sylvia is a cold fish. Olaf learns that Jenny is from Minnesota, and he says he is also from there. Ronald arrives and kisses Sylvia. Ronald is introduced to Jenny, and he pretends not to know her. Ronald learns that Jenny is going to be Sylvia’s bridesmaid, and he mentions one who went in for blackmail. Olaf shouts, and Jenny tells him to whisper. Others whisper, and he shouts again. Jenny and others attend to Olaf and help him out. Jenny comes back and talks to Ronald alone. He asks her what happened on the train with Tom. She tells how she brought Tom home and put him to bed. He says she learned that Tom’s family has money.

         Sylvia tells her mother that Jenny should not be a bridesmaid. Ronald does not want Jenny to stay there. He tells her to make an excuse and leave.

         Jenny is playing cards with Olaf while he is in bed. Tom comes in and tells his father he is overdrawn $5,000 at the bank. Olaf gets angry and throws a book at him. Tom goes out. Jenny says she likes Tom and that he should settle down. She asks Olaf to give him the $5,000. Olaf wants her to think of Tom in that way. She accuses him of cheating at cards and suggests he might cheat in business too. He says you cannot get anywhere in business without taking advantage. He says he is competing with Dayton and wants his land.

         On the stairs Ronald learns that Jenny won money from Olaf, and she gives him the dollar but still owes him $49. He tells her to get a telegram from her aunt. He says it will be better for her too if she leaves. He calls to send a telegram to Jenny.

         In the evening Jenny gets a telegram and says her aunt wrote she could stay as long as she wants. Ronald complains, and she says she does not have an Aunt Helga. Ronald dances with Sylvia. Olaf tells Tom he should go after the girl he wants. Jenny tells Tom that she has a date with Paul, but Caroline won’t let him leave.

         Ronald goes into Olaf’s room. Olaf says he hopes that Tom hooks Jenny for his wife. Ronald says he hardly knows her, and Olaf says he likes her. Ronald feels a flutter in his stomach and goes out.

         In the morning Jeffers tells Tom and Ronald that Jenny went for a walk with Paul Kingston. At breakfast Tom tells Ronald that he asked Jenny to marry him, but she said no. He asks Ronald to put in a good word for him. Olaf comes in and sits down. Olaf asks Tom to help him find Jenny.

         In the greenhouse Paul is chasing after Jenny and grabs her. She tries to get away, and they talk about Tom. She says she is a blackmailer, but he says he is slim pickings. He tries to kiss her, and she gets away and drops a potted plant on his head, knocking him out. She runs out, and Ronald stops her. He asks her how she caught Tom. He admits she looked pretty and radiant. He says a loveless marriage would be empty. She starts to say something about Sylvia but stops.

         Inside Schultz asks for his money, and Jenny takes him aside. She promises she will bring it tomorrow. He warns her and leaves.

         In bed Jenny is reading Aesop. Sylvia comes in and tells her that she was in an accident with Dennis. She said her name was Jenny Swanson. She is afraid that Olaf would cut her off without a cent. She asks Jenny to see Jeffers, but she asks for $5,000. Sylvia agrees to write her a check. She writes it, and Jenny takes it and goes out.

         Ronald sees Jenny running outside. Jenny goes in the greenhouse and changes coats. She calls Dennis a coward for not fighting for the girl he loves. Ronald comes in with a gun and sees it is Jenny. He asks what she is up to and says she is lying. She asks who the man was. She says it was Dennis. He asks her to tell the truth. He is upset she went after another man. He says he would be happier if he never met her. He asks her what is going on. She says she cannot tell some things. She tells him to make a wish on the new moon. He wishes she were in Mapleleaf, and she wishes for that too.

         Bridesmaids come down the stairs during the wedding rehearsal. Olaf complains to Sylvia as they march in. The minister says the rehearsal is over, and Olaf starts his party.

         People are dancing, Paul tells Jenny that he and Caroline are going to elope. Jenny says she cannot let them do it. She sends Jeffers to get Mrs. Brand. Jenny asks Paul how he could do this to her. She puts her arms around him and asks if he loves her. He says he cannot afford to marry for love and refers to Caroline in an insulting manner. She hears him, comes in, and he says she should know the truth and gives her the tickets.

         Olaf announces that Jenny is going to marry his son Tom. They kiss, and Paul says she is his bride. Olaf tells Ronald to kiss Jenny, and she kisses him and runs up the stairs.

         Jenny sends a telegram to herself on the telephone to come home at once from Aunt Helga.

         A lawyer comes in and says his client was injured. He says the lady said Olaf would pay his expenses. They go into another room. He has Jeffers call the whole family into the library. Ronald and Jenny go in, and the lawyer tells about the accident with Dennis Jeffers and Jenny. Olaf asks her if it is true, and she says yes. The lawyer says that they have been together several nights at the roadhouse. The lawyer leaves. Olaf asks Jenny again, and Ronald says it is not true because he was with Jenny. Olaf says Jenny was out with Dennis and Ronald but is going to marry Tom. Sylvia says Jenny blackmailed her for $5,000.

         Mr. Dayton and his son Ted arrive, and they see Jenny. Ted admits that Jenny protected him because there were letters. Ted asks Jenny to marry him. Olaf says that makes five men. He asks her if she is a waitress. She says that Sylvia is in love with Dennis, and she says he is going to be a doctor. Jenny says he will be good to have in the family. Olaf is confused. Tom says he met her on the train, and she brought him home because he was drunk. Jenny tells Olaf that he cheated Mr. Dayton, and he will have flutters in his stomach. She says it is his conscience, and he should listen to it. Olaf says she must marry someone in his family. Caroline asks about the blackmail. Jenny says she needed the money to pay Schultz for Tom’s debt. Olaf asks Jeffers if his son will marry Sylvia, and he says he is the right man for her. Ronald reads the telegram to Jenny. He tells her not to worry about Tom. Ronald reads about how he has an interest in Jenny, and Tom sees he is not reading. Ronald tells Jenny they could have a honeymoon in England. They go outside, and he tells her she must promise him some things. They kiss. Olaf sees them and tells Tom they should go out and paint the town red.

         This screwball family satirizes a wealthy family and those who try to marry into such wealth. A poor woman with a winning personality learns about conscience and helps others to be better people also.

Copyright © 2011 by Sanderson Beck

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