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(1941 b 103')

En: 6 Ed: 5

Two power-line workers are attracted to the same woman; she marries one but really loves the other, who thinks she is not good enough for his friend.

Lightning knocks out power lines, and men are sent out. Johnny Marshall (George Raft) and Hank McHenry (Edward G. Robinson) leave women to work in the rain. On a pole Hank is injured, but Johnny revives him. Johnny, Jumbo (Alan Hale), and Omaha (Frank McHugh) visit Hank in the hospital and tell him he will be foreman. Johnny goes with Pop Duval (Egon Brecher) when his daughter Fay Duval (Marlene Dietrich) is paroled. Johnny buys Fay lipstick. Eddie (Ward Bond) says Hank does not do well with women, making Hank angry. They are called out for icy lines that spark, and Pop is electrocuted. Hank has to tell Fay and takes Johnny with him. Johnny stalks out, but Hank feels sorry for her.

Fay works at the Midnight Club and is called over to Hank, who gives her $150; she takes only $50 and warns him it is a clip joint. Smiley Quinn (Barton MacLane) takes 75% of her money. Hank with Johnny buys a robe for Fay. Hank finds a man molesting Fay and throws him out. Hank asks her to marry; she says she is not in love with him. Fay sings in the club, and Dolly (Eve Arden) urges her to marry. Johnny offers Fay $200 not to marry Hank; she declines. Johnny says the prices are too high and hits Smiley, fighting his way out.

Hank weds Fay and gets drunk celebrating. Johnny dances with Fay. Hank passes out, and Johnny carries him home. Hank wakes and finds Fay fixing breakfast. Eddie asks if Fay still works, and Hank hits him. A plane hits wires, injuring Jumbo and Johnny. Hank and Fay visit Johnny and invite him to stay with them. While Hank sleeps, Fay tells Johnny she can't get him out of her mind. Working at a dam, Hank tells Johnny he is sending for Fay. She packs for Chicago despite Dolly's advice. Smiley tells Fay who to see there. Police raid, and Fay is arrested too. Johnny takes the call for Hank and bails her out. Johnny slaps Fay twice and learns she was leaving. He makes her go to Hank. Fay resents that her father left her mother. Fay says she loves Johnny and kisses him. Hank fires Eddie, and Johnny says he is quitting but stays for the dangerous work. Hank welcomes Fay, who says she was leaving because of Johnny. Hank climbs a tower in the rain. Fay tries to warn Johnny. Hank tries to knock Johnny off with a wrench but slips, and neither Johnny nor Jumbo can save him. Fay tells Hank that Johnny did nothing wrong; then Hank commends Johnny to Fay and dies. In the final scene Fay decides to stay with Johnny.

The camaraderie of the line workers gives this melodrama a comic flair as Johnny comes to realize he loves the woman he thinks he despises.

Copyright © 2002 by Sanderson Beck

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