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The Solid Gold Cadillac

The Solid Gold Cadillac(1956)

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At the annual shareholder's meeting of International Projects, Ltd., Edward L. McKeever, the founder and head of the company, announces that he has sold all his stock and is resigning to work for the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. McKeever's departure delights the dishonest members of International's board of directors--Clifford Snell, Vice President and Treasurer; John T. Blessington, President and Chairman of the Board; and Warren Gillie, Vice President and Secretary┬┐all of whom see McKeever's absence as an opportunity to line their pockets with company profits. At the meeting, Snell presents his financial report, prompting Laura Partridge, who owns a total of ten shares in the company, to rise and question the board's inflated salaries. Afterward, in the building's coffee shop, Laura encounters McKeever, who offers to drive her home on the way to the airport. As they say goodbye, McKeever is amused when Laura offers to look after the company in his absence. True to her word, the meddlesome Laura attends every board meeting, and when she proposes forming a shareholders' committee, Blessington decides to short circuit her effort by hiring her to generate "good will" among the small stockholders. As Director of Shareholder Relations, Laura is given her own office and assigned Amelia Shotgraven as her secretary. Laura at first busies herself with matchmaking between Amelia and Mark Jenkins, the office manager, but soon grows bored and decides to write to all the small shareholders across the country. While Blessington grumbles about Laura's postage bills, his moronic brother-in-law, Harry Harkness, whom he has appointed to the board, drives Apex Clock, a subsidiary of the corporation, into bankruptcy. Soon after, McKeever comes to New York to address Snell's complaint that he has not awarded any government contracts to International. McKeever is dismayed to find Laura installed in her own office, but is soon enchanted by her enthusiasm and honesty. After Amelia is fired by Snell for providing Laura with the stockholders' addresses, she tells Laura that Blessington hired Laura to prevent her from disrupting meetings. Disillusioned, Laura is about to resign when she opens a letter from one of the shareholders, describing how International bankrupted Apex, its own company. Outraged, Laura determines to stay and fight and demands that Amelia be rehired. When Laura launches a campaign to mobilize the shareholders, Blessington decides to get her out of the office by sending her to Washington D.C. to confer with McKeever about stockholders' rights. McKeever suspects that the board sent Laura to entice him into awarding them some contracts until she begs him to come back and take over the company. That afternoon, McKeever finalizes all his contract negotiations and asks Laura to celebrate with him. After a night of dancing, McKeever books a room for Laura at his hotel. When Laura informs McKeever about the Apex Clock scandal, he becomes irate and decides to resign from his government job and immediately return to International. As the board watches the televised news of McKeever's impending return to private industry, they realize that they can outvote him because he has sold all his stock. Apprised of his powerlessness, McKeever devises a different strategy, accusing the board of illegally using Laura to lobby for government contracts. At a hearing into the allegations, the board's attorney suggests that Laura went to Washington not to win contracts for International, but because she was in love with McKeever. When the attorney questions Laura under oath, she admits to being in love and the charges are dropped. Laura then admonishes McKeever to attend the annual shareholders' meeting that afternoon and dispute the board's authority. After he refuses, they drive to Laura's apartment, where she begins to open a stack of letters that she has brought home from the office and finds proxies made out in her name enclosed in each envelope. When Amelia phones with the news that Jenkins has been fired for attempting to deliver Laura's mail, which Snell has locked in his office, McKeever realizes that control of the company resides in the proxies of the small shareholders. After hurrying to the International Building and finding bulging bags of mail addressed to Laura, McKeever sends Laura to the meeting to stall for time while he, Amelia and Jenkins count the proxies. Welcomed as a celebrity by the assembled small shareholders, Laura demands a count of all the votes. Just as Blessington is about to smugly declare the board's victory, McKeever bursts in and announces that Laura has garnered 3,000,000 votes and therefore controls the corporation. After firing the board, Laura presides at the next annual meeting as Laura McKeever, Vice President and Treasurer, the wife of President Edward L. McKeever. After announcing soaring dividends, Laura and McKeever adjourn the meeting and drive home in their solid gold Cadillac.