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1938's "Josette" marked the fifth Hollywood feature for Simone Simon, after which she left 20th Century-Fox permanently and returned to France, not a bad entry to go out on, paving the way for her eventual return to RKO, where "Cat People" offered her screen immortality in a part she was born to play. She was not actually cast in the title role in "Josette," for the tempestuous gold digging chanteuse is portrayed by Tala Birell, her one ambition to wed a wealthy American millionaire, having met David Brassard Sr. (William Collier Sr.) in Havana. She suddenly disappears from her singing engagement in New Orleans for marriage in New York, only for the not so rich bridegroom to reveal the truth that his two sons run his cannery business while he only collects a monthly allowance of $500. Meanwhile, the harried manager of the Silver Moon nightclub (Bert Lahr) is pleased to have aspiring choir singer Renee Le Blanc (Simone) impersonate the absent Josette, enabling him to earn enough profits to keep the bank from taking his business. It is here that the Brassard brothers, happy go lucky Pierre (Robert Young) and businesslike David Jr. (Don Ameche), make the acquaintance of the girl they believe is Josette, intending to woo her away from their easily duped father. Renee is encouraged to keep up the charade to keep the manager happy, and this includes riverboat rides with Pierre, and one rain drenched Sunday drive with David, who finds himself falling in love with a girl who does not act at all like the gold digger he thinks she is. The imminent return of the real Josette does not prevent a happy ending for all, except perhaps for Josette's companion, played to comic perfection by the scene stealing Joan Davis. Among the unbilled cast members can be spotted Lon Chaney Jr., as a boatman for young David, hoping to catch up with Pierre in his ardent pursuit of sweet Renee. Chaney's two year stint at 20th Century-Fox resulted in few credited roles, but at least here he's granted some lines to distinguish him from Robert Lowery's equally miniscule boatman.
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