Movie and plot overview
Eric Stanton is a mediocre hobo stuck in the town of Walton, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now he’s falling in love with a waitress named Stella. But she doesn’t want to marry a man who can’t buy her a house, and she knows Stanton is completely broke. You have to make a lot of money fast. Stanton bets on a scam by a rich local girl named June, whom he plans to rob and divorce. His plans failed when Stella died, and he’s the cop’s prime suspect.
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Eric Stanton (Dana Andrews) – A destitute tramp is thrown off a bus in Walton because he doesn’t have enough money to go to San Francisco. He’s on his way to a greasy spoon called Daddy’s Food. There he meets the Pope (Percy Kilbride) who is worried about his waitress Stella (Linda Darnell) because she has been incapacitated for a few days.
Dad is busy talking to former New York policeman Mark Judd (Charles Bickford), who tells him not to worry. As soon as the words come out of her mouth, Stella comes in. She’s a beautiful woman who attracts every man in the room, but at first glance Stanton doesn’t make a bad impression on her.
Stanton’s bad luck changes for the better when he secretly goes to work with a fortune teller named Professor Madley (John Carradin). Stanton can’t find anyone in town to buy tickets for the teacher show because local maid Clara Mills (Anne Revir) doesn’t approve. Stanton only comes to Clara because his little sister June (Alice Faye) thinks it would be nice to come.
Professor Abraham Mills, father of Clara and June, was invited to the exhibition. Based on the information unearthed by her assistant Joe Ellis (Olin Houland), Madley reveals the sisters’ financial problems and the two ladies leave very upset.
By that time Stanton had fallen in love with Stella, but she had made it clear that she needed a man who was willing to marry her and settle down. For some reason he’s already obsessed with this woman and he can’t leave town when the professor goes to San Francisco. He tells Stella he’s going to marry her and give her what she wants. But he’s broke, and she knows it.
To get the money, Stanton cheats on sweet June. He convinces her to marry easily and plans to divorce as soon as possible. Clara, who Stanton doesn’t seem to trust, can’t prevent his marriage. But Stanton is so obsessed with Stella that he’s even going to see her on her wedding night. Instead of consuming his marriage, he goes to Pop’s Eats to see Stella. While she is angry because he is married, he tells her about his sinister plan to take June’s money.
The next morning, June Stanton told him the police were looking for him because Stella was dead. Mr. Judd’s downstairs asking Stanton a few questions. The police asked him to investigate the murder. Two men are on their way to Stella’s apartment. Dad’s there with a witness and Stella’s last boyfriend, Dave Atkins (Bruce Cabot). He’s trying to get a confession out of her, but Atkins has a watertight alibi. Stanton’s also a suspect because Judd saw him arguing with her shortly before she died. So Judd tells him not to leave town.
Stanton leaves town and picks June up in a wretched hotel room in San Francisco, where he tells her his life story, his failed plans for a quick return. Even if it’s a little blurry, June loves him. The next day, when June goes to the bank to withdraw the money, the police take June into custody and bring her back to Walton. After questioning her, Judd let her go into Clara’s custody.
Stanton goes back to his father’s house and finds Judd and his father. While the men are drinking their coffee, Stanton shows that he knows that Judd Stella bought a watch that was found at the crime scene and that he is waiting outside with the police.
Judd pulls his gun and then pretends to admit he killed Stella because he found out she was ready to marry Atkins instead of waiting for his wife to divorce him. If Judd’s distracted enough, Dad fights with a gun in his hand. Shoot with a gun that attracts the attention of one of the officers waiting outside. The cop stops him and they leave.
Stanton leaves his father and finds June waiting for him outside in the car. She asks him where to go, and he says: The house.
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