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Czechoslovakian immigrant Karel Novak fulfills his dream of coming to America only to learn at Ellis Island the entrance fee has been raised from $50 to $200. Unable to pay, he is put on a ship going back to Holland, but jumps off, swimming to Manhattan, and losing his wallet on shore. He is elated at what he sees, the skyscrapers, the automobiles and the opulence. While stealing doughnuts from a lunch table for girls rehearsing for a show, he befriends 19-year-old chorus girl, Sylvia Dennis, who then lets him sleep on the roof of her apartment building. Her young brother, Frank, gets him a job selling newspapers and he gradually works up into driving a cab. Meanwhile, romance blossoms, and when authorities threaten to send Frank to a young boys' home until Sylvia gets married, Karel proposes and Sylvia accepts. But the spectre of his illegal status causes him to see a lawyer about becoming a citizen. He unknowingly goes to shyster Halsey J. Pander, who turns him in for the money. Written by
Arthur Hausner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Suspend your sense of disbelief and enjoy the cute ending...
This is an interesting film in that the leading man, Francis Lederer, actually plays a Czech--and he was, indeed, from this country. For Hollywood, this is very unusual! The film begins with Lederer arriving in America. However, because he doesn't have enough money (they required a minimum per person at the time to ensure that they'd have enough to get started), they deport him back to his homeland. But, as the boat left the harbor, he jumps overboard--much like the plot from "The Glass Wall" and it's an interesting coincidence that I'd see the two films only a short time apart. He assumes he'll just be able to get a job--but it is the middle of the Depression.
Like "The Glass Wall", the illegal immigrant soon meets a nice lady who feels sorry for him--in this case, Ginger Rogers. She helps him get a job selling newspapers as well as a temporary place to sleep. Will the love that's blossoming between the two come to anything? Can Lederer legally stay in America? Tune in and see.
Overall, it's a decent little film, though the chemistry between Lederer and Rogers seems less than convincing. However, despite this, the ending is pretty cute to watch--even if it's a tiny bit silly. Worth seeing, but not a must-see film.
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