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Reckless Age

Reckless Age(1944)

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Remind Me

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After her graduation recital, heiress Linda Wadsworth is given a string of pearls by her grandfather, J. H. Wadsworth, the dime store king. When J. H. tells Linda his detailed plans for her life, she attempts to join the armed forces, but is refused for being underage. Later, Linda runs away from home and sneaks aboard a train to Boston. Linda is taken off the train in the small town of Hammettsville, where she quickly attains a job at one of her grandfather's stores, under the alias of Laura Weston. When Mr. Thurtle, the assistant store manager, discovers Linda writing her grandfather, he and Mr. Cook, the store manager, assume that she is a company investigator and do their best to please her. Later, Linda moves into a boardinghouse run by the Connors family, and soon falls for Roy Connors, who is one of her coworkers at the dime store. Meanwhile, J. H., angry about his missing granddaughter, demands that all his stores improve business. During a staff meeting of the Hammettsville store, Linda makes a series of suggestions that Thurtle and Cook immediately institute, which lead to greater morale and productivity among the salesclerks. A few days later, Linda sells her gold bracelet to a soldier for one dollar, but Roy and salesclerk Sandra Sibelius think she is stealing when she keeps the dollar instead of placing it in the cash register. That night, Roy confronts Linda about the "theft," and she angrily accuses him of having no faith in her. Knowing that Mr. and Mrs. Connors are feuding over his raising pigs in her "victory garden," Linda convinces Thurtle and Cook to buy the pigs and give them away as a promotion for Wadsworth's Stores' fiftieth anniversary sale. The promotion is a great success until one of the customers drops her dog among the pigs, and the loose animals cause a riot which nearly destroys the store. Cook is ordered to New York to explain matters to J. H., and the department store king quickly realizes that the "company investigator" is his granddaughter. Learning that her grandfather is on his way to Hammettsville, Linda attempts to run away again, but Roy, still thinking that she is a thief, catches her and insists that she turn herself over to the police. Thinking that she can hide from her grandfather in jail, Linda falsely confesses to stealing the necklace under the alias "Lucy Waters." J. H. stills manages to find her, but, discovering what a great success she has been, he agrees to let her live her own life. On her eighteenth birthday, Linda joins the Women's Ambulance Corps, and at a party in her honor, Roy gives her a coded messaged that reads "I Love You."