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Sharpshooters

Sharpshooters(1938)

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FULL SYNOPSIS

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As King Philip of Metavania arrives in the kingdom of Belgart to attend an important state conference, he is shot and killed by an unknown assailant during a procession. Steve Mitchell, an American crack newsreel cameraman, slips his roll of film of the assassination to his sound man, Waldo Winkle, and gives up unexposed stock to the authorities to trick them. After escaping the police and destroying one of their motorcycles, Steve leaves the country on a plane bound for Metavania, where he is to cover the coronation of the new king. On the plane, he mistakenly sits next to an attractive American, Diane Woodward, and when the plane lands before it gets to Metavania so that the police can arrest him, they instead mistakenly arrest the man in Steve's seat, Kolter, who has left Belgart because he was part of the conspiracy to kill the king. In Metavania, Baron Orloff, who masterminded the assassination, sends his cohort Ivan to the airport to meet Kolter. Before the plane lands, Steve takes Diane's checkered handkerchief as a souvenir, and when Ivan sees it in his pocket, the sign which Kolter was to give, he mistakes Steve for Kolter and starts to approach him. However, the Metavania police, alerted by Belgart, arrest Steve. Ivan is able to free Steve from the police, after an automobile crash, and he takes Steve to Orloff, who, believing Steve to be Kolter, reveals his plan to assassinate Prince Michael, Philip's son, during his coronation procession. Orloff hopes that the army will then revolt and that he can assume power. When the real Kolter, whom the Belgart police have let go, arrives, Steve escapes through a window and rushes to the International Consulate with the information about the assassination plot, but he is thought to be a crackpot and turned away. After Ivan makes a failed attempt on Steve's life, Steve and Waldo sneak into the king's garden and make friends with Prince Michael, a boy of about ten. Steve is surprised to find that Diane is Michael's tutor, and after he tells Diane about the plot, she takes him to see Count Maxim, the acting regent and commander-in-chief of the army. Maxim, in cahoots with Orloff, has Diane locked up, and he is about to have Steve shot by a firing squad. Michael, however, escapes and finds his uncle, Prince Alexis, with whom Diane is in love and who has been in hiding since Maxim accused him of being involved in his brother's assassination. Alexis, a pilot, strafes the soldiers, who are about to fire on Steve, with a machine gun from the air and lands to pick up Steve. Using Steve and Waldo's soundtruck, Alexis broadcasts to Maxim that he will give himself up in exchange for Diane. At their meeting place, when Maxim refuses to let Diane go free, Steve, who has filmed and recorded the betrayal, threatens to show the footage to the world. As Maxim's troops fire at Steve, Alexis and Diane try to escape, but their chauffeur is shot and they are apprehended. Steve and Waldo fight Kolter and his gang as they try to capture Michael, and Kolter is shot. Steve, Waldo and Michael then hear a broadcast from Maxim to the people that Michael is dead and that Alexis and Diane will be executed immediately for the murder. Steve then has Michael broadcast from his soundtruck that he is safe, and Michael makes a plea for the people to march with him to the palace to rescue Alexis and Diane. The people obey Michael, and although Maxim orders his soldiers to fire on them, the soldiers remain loyal to Michael and lay down their arms. Maxim then threatens Alexis that he will kill Diane if he does not arrange for his safe passage out of the country. Steve then crashes through a window on a rope he has rigged, and the mob breaks into the palace to capture Maxim. Steve goes to embrace Diane, but she bypasses him for Alexis, and Steve mistakenly embraces Waldo. Michael then clues Steve in that Alexis found Diane first.