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Speak Easily
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Synopsis for
Speak Easily (1932) More at IMDbPro »

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Professor Post is a solemn and unworldly Greek scholar, and when a party is proposed, he prefers to stay in and read Aristotle. His manservant worries that his master does not properly enjoy life, and he forges a paper informing the professor that he has inherited $750,000, hoping that this will encourage him to live a little.

The professor is taken in, and goes off to see the world on the strength of the paper, although of course the money does not exist. At the railway station he meets some members of a song and dance troupe, the Midnight Miads, and he speaks to Pansy Peets; she says that she is a dancer, and he says, What a coincidence; you know I have made an exhaustive study of Greek dancing!

As the train is leaving, Post realises that he has left a trunk on the platform, and he manages to stop the train. The railway officials remonstrate with him for stopping the train for such a matter, but Jimmy Dodge, a comedian with the troupe, intervenes on Posts behalf.

When the train gets to Fishs Switch station, the troupe are disembarking; there is a bus to take them to the hotel. Post is engrossed in farewells to his new-found friends, that he fails to get back on the train in time, and he is left alone at the station. He eventually gets a lift to the town, and rejoins the troupe.

But the players have no money, and a warrant server arrives to foreclose them because of unpaid debts elsewhere. However Post has some money on him, and pays off the debts, earning the performers gratitude. Nonetheless they realise it is only a postponement of the inevitable, and everyone is gloomy until Post announces that he will fund the players expenses from his own pocket. Jimmy Dodge suggests that Post takes over the running of the troupe, and Post agrees that it would be a broadening experience. No-one opposes this arrangement, and when Post announces that he must be in New York for professional reasons, they realise that they will have to locate their performances there too on Broadway.

In New York Post sets up offices as a theatrical producer, but the theatre manager is critical of the abilities of the performers in general, and Pansy Peets in particular. This is too much for Post and an argument ensues, and the manager walks out. Post runs after him and returns subdued, saying that the production will proceed anyway in accordance with his own views.

Later a vampish woman arrives at the office and wants to speak to Post; she says she is Eleanor Espere, the personality girl. She has heard that Post is bankrolling the production, and its obvious that she wants to get some of it. When they ask what her previous work has been, she says she worked at a place that had previously been a Speakeasy. Post corrects her grammar and says that she should says Speak Easily and Dodge says that this will do for a title for the production.

She gets hired, and during rehearsals she takes the opportunity to persuade Post to pay for her apartment, and he could run up there if ever he wants a cup of tea, she says coquettishly. The nave Post agrees because he believes it is customary in theatrical circles.

Espere goes with him to his hotel room, and her object is to lure the nave academic into marriage a meal ticket for life. She plies him with alcohol although he does not drink she says it is only fruit juice. But she gets as drunk as he does, She is unable to seduce him, however, and the following morning she tries to entrap him, first by reminding him that a gentleman who has compromised a lady must marry her, and then arranging for her brother to arrive and threaten him.

Jimmy Dodge is the comedian in the troupe, and he has taken a liking to Post; and this point he comes to his rescue, changing clothes with him in a separate room and then appearing and agreeing to marry the woman which of course she refuses.

Opening night on Broadway has arrived, and Dodge uses a ruse to send Dodge off to New Jersey to get him out of the way, as he knows he will be more troublesome if he is present; but Post manages to get back to the theatre. A man has come to serve a writ for unpaid debts, and he will not leave until he has seen Post. There is interplay between Pansy and Eleanor she has told Post to get rid of Pansy, but Post has discovered romantic feelings for Pansy, and he has reassured her that the incident in the hotel room meant nothing to him.

The performance starts and it is embarrassingly bad; Post himself rushes on stage and corrects the players performances, and the crowd assume it is part of the act and love it. Post announces his apologies in formal classical language and this adds to the laughter; even a man who has come to serve yet another writ for debts thinks Post is a great comedian, and when Post says he is the proprietor (to whom the writ should be delivered) he just laughs.

The chaos on stage intensifies and the curtain falls to general applause. The writ server is back stage and wants $10,000 which no-one has. But the theatre impresario is vastly impressed with the performance and offers a contract that will make the debt merely small change.

Eleanor is looking for Post, still no doubt hoping to use her feminine allure to get her hands on some of his money, but at that moment a scenery tab is shifted and in the final scene, she sees Post in a passionate embrace with Pansy.


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