- Original title
- Running time
- 77 min.
- United States
William A. Wellman
Becky Gardiner, Lynn Riggs, Leonard Spigelgass, Garrett Fort, Agnes Christine Johnston, Wells Root, Dwight Taylor (Storie: E.W. Hornung)
James Van Trees (B&W)
RKO Radio Pictures
Comedy. Drama. Romance | Abduction / Disappearance
- Synopsis / Plot
- In 1874, in the Australian outback, police inspector Radford chats with wealthy sheepman Hugh Clarkson and his wife about Stingaree, the country's prized outlaw. Everyone, including Hilda Bouverie, the Clarkson's maid who has been with the family since her father's death four years before, is anticipating the arrival of Sir Julian Kent, a famous London composer. Mrs. Clarkson hopes Sir Julian will launch her career as a singer, although her vocal talents leave the servants and Mr. Clarkson on edge. At the Munnedah Bar and Stage Depot, the inebriated Radford greets Sir Julian, who arrives by stagecoach. The music-loving Stingaree, who is masquerading as "Mr. Smithson," an importer of musical instruments, enters and begins a conversation with Sir Julian about current events in London. With his valet and companion, Howie, Stingaree then abducts and flees with Sir Julian. The next day, as the Clarksons leave to meet Sir Julian, unaware he has been kidnapped, Stingaree arrives at the house and overhears Hilda singing at the piano. She mistakes Stingaree for Sir Julian, and impressed by her musical proficiency, he agrees to help her train her voice without revealing his true identity. Their attraction to each other grows as Hilda explains that her late mother had been a professional singer, but had abandoned her career to be with her husband. When Hilda innocently introduces Stingaree as Sir Julian, he struggles to explain to the Clarksons his "escape" from the two outlaws. While the now-sober Radford confides to Hilda that it is Stingaree who is her guest, Stingaree repeats the information he extracted from Sir Julian the previous night in order to endear himself to the Clarksons. Once uncovered, Stingaree flees with Hilda and discovers from Howie that Sir Juilan really has escaped. Stingaree returns with Hilda that night to a party honoring Sir Julian and forces the guests to listen to her voice. Stingaree is captured, but sends word from prison that Hilda must gain her freedom from her servant life and leave with Sir Julian, who has agreed to train her voice and manage her operatic career. Following successes in Italy, Brussels, Paris, Berlin and at Covent Gardens in London, particularly in the title role of Martha , Hilda falls in love with Sir Julian and plans to marry him. On the eve of their honeymoon, however, Hilda realizes that she must return to Stingaree and forsake her career. She agrees to Sir Julian's request for a final concert in Melbourne, where she is poorly received until Stingaree, who is recently escaped from prison, arrives, masquerading as the newly appointed governor general. Stingaree's disguise is unmasked as Hilda sings "Tonight Is Mine," and he flees through the stage door. Later, in her room at the governor's residence, Hilda welcomes Stingaree through the window. As the police close in, they kiss and leave together on horseback, accompanied by Howie.
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