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For Beauty's Sake

For Beauty's Sake(1941)

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Assistant astronomy professor Bertram Erasmus Dillsome is annoyed when a class from Miss Merton's School for Young ladies visits St. Vincent's College and he must give them lessons. He is especially put out by Dime Pringle, an enthusiastic young woman who immediately falls in love with him. After the girls leave, Bertram receives a telegram that his aunt, Dimity Sprig, has died. Bertram leaves Conneticut for New York City to hear her will and is astonished by Dimity's stipulation that he must manage her successful beauty salon for two years or he will inherit nothing. Bertram is reluctant, but Father McKinley of St. Vincent's convinces him that it would be good for him to see something of the world outside the college. Meanwhile, Dime finds out about Bertram's inheritance and convinces her businessman grandfather, Julius H. Pringle, to send his best publicity man, Jonathan B. Sweet, to work for Bertram so that the beauty salon will continue doing well and she can then marry Bertram. During the week before Bertram arrives at the salon, which is located in the Sherrington Hotel for women, Sweet and Dime promote him as "Dr. Erasmus," a French beauty expert who has discovered the secret of perpetual youth. When Betram arrives and learns of the deception, he is chagrined but begins running the business with the help of Dimity's assistants, Dottie Nickerson and Miss Sawter, and her lawyer, Middlesex. Bertram also contends with Dime's constant romantic pursuit of him and a phony lawsuit brought by former actress Amy Devore and lawyer Jackman. Although Bertram disproves Jackman's charges of negligence on part of the salon, he soon has more problems when he discovers a recording made by Dimity. In the recording, Dimity states that someone was sabotaging the salon and that a customer, Mrs. Lloyd Kennar, was involved somehow. During her speech, Dimity was abruptly taken away by a man, and Bertram and Dime grow suspicious that the accidental overdose of sleeping powder that killed her was not an accident after all. When Bertram calls Mrs. Kennar to the salon, before he can question her, he overhears her arguing with a man and then she jumps out a window to her death. The man with whom she was arguing, Rodney Blynn, maintains that he was merely passing by Mrs. Kennar's room, but Bertram's suspicions grow. Soon after, Dottie deduces that Anna Kuo, one of the salon's workers, is gathering gossip with which to blackmail customers such as Mrs. Kennar, who was getting a divorce, and she trails her to Blynn's apartment. Sweet also goes to Blynn's, where he and Dottie learn that Blynn, Kuo, Middlesex and Jackman are the leaders of a blackmailing ring that has been operating out of the salon. They killed Dimity when she was on the verge of discovering their operation, but before they can kill Sweet and Dottie, Bertram and Dime arrive with the police. After the criminals are apprehended, Dime and Dottie receive kisses from Bertram and Sweet.