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Paddy the Next Best Thing

Paddy the Next Best Thing(1933)


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Wealthy Lawrence Blake, sailing from Ceylon to a village in Ireland, rescues Paddy Adair, a mischievous tomboy who purposely capsizes her sailboat, and learns that she is the sister of the woman he intends to marry, Eileen, whom he met in England. Eileen loves Jack Breen, but because her father, Major Robert Adair, faces foreclosure within a month and has promised his creditor that Lawrence will pay his debt, she agrees to marry Lawrence. Paddy, who, like her father, likes to tell a tall story, tries to break the engagement by telling Lawrence that Eileen has not been well mentally for the past two years and has tried to commit suicide, but he recognizes her lack of veracity, and when he questions Eileen, they agree that although she is not in love, they will gamble that they will fall in love after they marry. Paddy then tries to interest Lawrence in herself. After she wagers that he cannot put his lips as close as can be to hers without kissing her, he is unable to resist her, and their kiss is mutually enjoyable. At the dance at which the engagement is to be announced, Lawrence learns of Eileen and Jack's romance and says that they should marry. Eileen, who has now fallen in love with Lawrence, thinks that Paddy has stolen him from her and vows never to speak to her again. The major is mortally injured riding his favorite mare, and after his death, the family's belongings are auctioned. Lawrence, who has now fallen in love with Paddy, offers to help with money, but she pridefully refuses and leaves to live and work with her uncle, Dr. David Adair, in Dublin. A year later, Lawrence locates David's pharmacy, despite Paddy's efforts to keep him from finding it. David, who is sympathetic to Lawrence's desire to marry Paddy, explains that Paddy developed hatred and guilt for him because of Eileen's hostility to her. Lawrence proposes to Paddy, but she forces herself to be cold to him and says she hates him. Lawrence then arranges a plan with David to win Paddy. To revive Eileen's interest in Jack, Lawrence tells her that Paddy is going to marry Jack. Eileen then vows that they will never marry and returns to their village. David arranges for Paddy to travel to the village for Christmas without having any breakfast and with no money. On the train, she finds Lawrence in her compartment. She avoids him and refuses his offer of food, but as they wait for a number of hours during a washout, she surreptitiously sneaks some of his food as he sleeps. At the village, Paddy hugs her sister when she learns that she and Jack have married. During the Christmas ball at the old house, Paddy is presented with the deed to the house as a gift. When she learns that Lawrence bought the house for her, she withdraws from him, but then confesses that she hated him because she really loved him, and they are united with a kiss.