Dick Richmond (William Holden) is a sharp bookmaker whose unproductive real estate office is a cover for his gambling operation. Unaware of his real line of work, eager but incompetent Ellen Grant (Lucille Ball) signs on as Dick's secretary and, anxious to make a name for herself -- and to help family and friends -- presses him into a building project to ease the post-war housing shortage. Dick siphons the cash from unsuspecting homebuyers to pay his debts to a big-time syndicate, leaving his ditzy secretary charged with embezzlement. When the lovely head of the syndicate, Peggy Donato (Janis Carter), offers to tear up his marker in exchange for romance, Dick must choose between the easy, grifting lifestyle or saving his secretary's hide.
A woman hired to work in a real estate office converts the owner, who is actually running a gambling operation, by getting him involved in a huge housing project.
The lives and livelihoods of a group of bookies are shaken up by a silly secretary in this underworld farce. Using a real estate front to cloak their illegal affairs, the bookies hire receptionist Ellen Grant to complete their "respectable" facade. Because everyone who wants a home has to make his or her case to Ellen, she convinces bookie big shot Dick Richmond to support a low-income housing project. Richmond gets an idea. If he can cajole investors into ponying up the funds needed for such a venture, he and his cronies will stash the cash and phony the bookkeeping -- leaving Ellen as the fall gal. Ellen, to their surprise, finally wises up to the nicely-tailored sharks swimming around her.
Theatrical Release |
Additional cast: Gloria Henry (Helen White); Loren Tindall (Charles Meyers); Ola Lorraine (Jeanie Meyers); Claire Meade (Aunt Mae); Harry Harvey (Councilman Reed); Harry Cheshire (Leo Hopkins); and Nita Mathews (Ruth).
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