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And One Was Beautiful

And One Was Beautiful(1940)


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The glamorous Helen Lattimer strives to reach the upper rungs of society while her unassuming kid sister Kate is content to remain a sweet innocent. To avoid going to a dull party at the Harridges', Helen sends Kate in her place. At the party, Kate meets eligible playboy Ridley Crane and spends the night with him discussing cars. Kate is taken with Ridley, but he prefers her glamorous sister. The next night, after drinking heavily in a road house, Ridley passes out, and Helen decides to drive his race car home. While trying to shift gears, Helen hits and kills a bicyclist and out of panic, flees the scene of the crime, leaving Ridley to be arrested on a drunk driving and manslaughter charge. Kate becomes suspicious when an hysterical Helen returns home with stains on her gloves and furtively buries a package in the garden. The next day, when Ridley comes by and explains that he cannot remember what happened and asks Helen's help, Kate digs up the garden and finds her sister's shoe with a missing heel. Because a woman's heel was found in Ridley's car, Kate confronts Helen with the evidence, but Helen denies that she drove the car. Kate then tells Ridley about the incriminating evidence, but to shield Helen, he pleads guilty and is sentenced to five years in Sing Sing. To escape Kate's continued accusations, Helen marries George Olcott, a man she does not love. As Ridley calmly accepts his sentence, Kate works unceasingly to win a pardon for him and comfort the family of the dead man. Just as Ridley's pardon seems certain, Helen leaves her husband and offers to tell the truth. The day that Ridley is released from jail, Helen is waiting for him at the gate, but he rejects her in favor of her less glamorous sister.