skip navigation
When You're Smiling

When You're Smiling(1950)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

To pay the debts incurred by his gambling habit, Herbert Reynolds, the owner of a recording company, plots to marry his daughter Linda to a wealthy man. To this end, Herbert sends Linda to a Texas dude ranch, expecting that one particular wealthy suitor will follow her there. When the man marries another woman, however, Linda leaves the ranch in a rage. Her car has a flat tire on the way to the airport, and Linda must wait at a roadside inn while it is repaired. There, she meets a young Texan named Gerald "Jerry" Durham. During their conversation, Jerry confides that he is a singer waiting for an opportunity to get started. Before Linda leaves, Jerry hands her his card and asks her to contact him if she hears of anything. When Linda asks the driver about her new acquaintance, he informs her that Gerald Durham is the millionaire owner of a large cattle ranch. Linda arrives home to learn that her father's company will be bankrupt unless he raises $100,000. Unknown to Linda, Herbert is in debt to bookmaker Jack Lacey, who is threatening to take over the company as payment. To help her father, Linda suggests that they wire Jerry, asking him to come East to get started in the music business. Once Jerry arrives, Linda begins her efforts to get him to propose. Although Jerry meets singers such as Frankie Laine and Bob Crosby, he is not given an opportunity to sing. Meanwhile, Jerry and Peggy Martin, the receptionist, begin to fall in love. Peggy suggests that if Jerry makes a recording of one of his songs, she will try to interest an agent in him. He has just finished the recording when Lacey and Herbert enter the studio. Beating a hasty retreat, Jerry and Peggy neglect to turn off the recording equipment. Thus, when Herbert tells Lacey that he will pay his debts after Jerry marries Linda, the entire conversation is recorded. Later, Peggy returns for the record and places it next to one belonging to talent agent Nan Doran, who accidentally takes it when she leaves the office. Realizing that her father's situation is urgent, Linda tearfully coerces Jerry into agreeing to marry her. Meanwhile, Nan calls Peggy and reveals the contents of Herbert and Lacey's conversation. The two women, accompanied by Frankie Laine, burst into the Reynolds home just as Jerry and Linda are about to be married. When Jerry learns the reason behind Linda's interest in him, he explains that it is his uncle, Gerald Durham, who is the wealthy cattle owner. Now Peggy and Jerry are free to continue their romance, and Nan signs Jerry to a singing contract. Lacey, who is attracted to Linda, tears up Herbert's I.O.U.s, and it appears that Herbert will have a wealthy son-in-law after all.