The Duke is Tops (1938)

Duke Davis (Ralph Cooper) has invested all his savings to back his sweetheart, Ethel (Lena Horne), in a road show over the old T.O.B.A. circuit, on which they have both been performers since childhood. Marshall (Monte Hawley), a New York talent scout, makes an offer to Ethel as a single and, to induce her to take it, Duke writes a fake check, made out to him, for $5000 pretending he has sold his contract with Ethel to Marshall. Resentful and heartbroken, she accepts and becomes a big hit in New York.

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