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Sam Clayton has a good heart and likes to help out people in need. In fact, he likes to help them out so much that he often finds himself broke and unable to help his own family buy the things they need--like a house.
A secretive widower hires a governess for his children, a willful boy and impressionable girl. Strange occurrences and the governess's curiosity lead her to unlock the secrets of the mysterious and uninhabited brownstone next door.
This is a very funny movie with a quirky story line. Ann Sheridan is Stella, a strong, level headed woman, working for the local insurance salesman, saddled with a family of leeches, including her two lazy brothers-in-law, Carl (David Wayne) and Don (Frank Fontaine) who work in their resort community four months each year and collect unemployment the rest of the year. When her mother, uncle, sisters and their husbands go out for a picnic one afternoon, the drunken uncle starts a fight with Carl, trips on a tree root, and strikes his head on a rock. The family decides that no one will believe they didn't kill Uncle Joe, so bury him in a field and go home. An unlikely beginning to a comedy, but hilarity ensues after Uncle Joe's lady friend reports him missing. Stella finds out what really happened and is sucked into the cover-up. Things are fine until the police chief reports that Uncle Joe's body has been found on a railroad track; when the Carl and Don find out that Uncle Joe was insured for $20,000, they decide to identify the body, even though they know it can't be Uncle Joe. Victor Mature, meanwhile, is a claims adjuster for the insurance company. He has come to town to check on Stella's boss (and fiancé), and takes an immediate interest in Stella. He checks the dental records on the "John Doe", and discovers that it couldn't have been Uncle Joe. That settles that -- until the next unidentified body washes up on a beach. The "boys" keep getting in deeper and deeper, dragging an unwilling Stella along with them. Stella, meanwhile, has fallen for Jeff (Mature), but her fiancé is not about to give her up so easily, especially after she confides the family secret to him.
Ann Sheridan is wonderful in this movie, and David Wayne is brilliant. I have a VHS recording from a WGN broadcast back in 1986, and have never found it on DVD or seen it broadcast again. If you get a chance to see this film, grab it -- you'll be glad you did.
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