Chester Wooley (Lou Costello) and Duke Egan (Bud Abbott) are traveling salesmen who make a stopover in Wagon Gap, Montana while enroute to California. During the stopover, a notorious criminal, Fred Hawkins, is murdered, and the two are charged with the crime.
Steve Morgan kills a man in a holdup and hitches a ride to Los Angeles with Fergie. At a gas station, they pick up two women. Encountering a roadblock, Morgan takes over and persuades the party to spend the night at an unoccupied beach house. The police close in as one by one, the others learn that Morgan is a killer.
The movie follows the rise and fall of a con man — a story that begins and ends at a seedy travelling carnival. Stanton Carlisle (Tyrone Power) joins the carnival, working with “Mademoiselle Zeena” (Joan Blondell) and her alcoholic husband, Pete (Ian Keith).
Pete and Ellen have reared Meg as their own, ever since she was a baby and her parents took off. Now a teen, Meg convinces her friend Nath to come help with chores on the farm: Pete isn’t getting around on his wooden leg like he used to. When Nath insists on using a short cut home through the woods, Pete gets quite agitated and warns him of screams in the night, of terrors associated with the red house. Curious, Meg and Nath ignore his warnings and begin exploring. Meg begins falling in love with Nath, but his girlfriend Tibby has other plans for him. Meanwhile they all get closer to real danger and the dark secret of the red house.
It tells the story of young married couple who become chicken farmers. Betty has been raised to follow her husband’s dreams with him, and Bob’s dream is to be a successful chicken farmer. The problem is their home is old and needs to be repaired and the baby chicks need constant care. When a rich single woman with a new house and new farm equipment flirts with Bob, Betty questions their decision to move to the farm in the first place.
Frankie Madison returns to New York after 14 years in prison. Noll Turner, Frankie’s former partner in bootlegging, is now a wealthy nightclub manager, and Frankie is expecting him to honor a verbal ’50:50′ agreement they made when he was caught and Noll got away. Fat chance! Can Frankie, who knows only the strong-arm methods of Prohibition, win out against Big Business? It’ll be tough…even with the unlikely alliance of torch singer Kay (Noll’s ex-girlfriend).
Spain, 1518: young caballero Pedro De Vargas offends his sadistic neighbor De Silva, who just happens to be an officer of the Inquisition. Forced to flee, Pedro, friend Juan Garcia, and adoring servant girl Catana join Cortez’ first expedition to Mexico. Arriving in the rich new land, Cortez decides to switch from exploration to conquest…with only 500 men. Embroiled in continuous adventures and a romantic interlude, Pedro almost forgets he has a deadly enemy…
Notorious shootist and womanizer Quirt Evans’ horse collapses as he passes a Quaker family’s home. Quirt has been wounded, and the kindly family takes him in to nurse him back to health against the advice of others. The handsome Evans quickly attracts the affections of their beautiful daughter, Penelope. He develops an affection for the family, but his troubled past follows him.
A dazed woman walks the streets of Los Angeles looking for a man named David. After collapsing in a diner, she’s taken to the psychiatric ward of a nearby hospital. Flashbacks reveal her obsession for David as a result of borderline personality disorder which ultimately leads to murder.
A group of Anglican nuns, led by Sister Clodagh, are sent to a mountain in the Himalayas. The climate in the region is hostile and the nuns are housed in an odd old palace. They work to establish a school and a hospital, but slowly their focus shifts. Sister Ruth falls for a government worker, Mr. Dean, and begins to question her vow of celibacy. As Sister Ruth obsesses over Mr. Dean, Sister Clodagh becomes immersed in her own memories of love.
Jeff Bailey seems to be a mundane gas station owner in remote Bridgeport, CA. He is dating local girl Ann Miller and lives a quiet life. But Jeff has a secret past, and when a mysterious stranger arrives in town, Jeff is forced to return to the dark world he had tried to escape.
Kris Kringle, seemingly the embodiment of Santa Claus, is asked to portray the jolly old fellow at Macy’s following his performance in the Thanksgiving Day parade. His portrayal is so complete that many begin to question if he truly is Santa Claus, while others question his sanity.
In 1900, strong-willed widow Lucy Muir goes to live in Gull Cottage by the British seaside, even though it appears to be haunted. Sure enough, that very night she meets the ghost of crusty former owner Captain Gregg…and refuses to be scared off. Indeed, they become friends and allies, after Lucy gets used to the idea of a man’s ghost haunting her bedroom. But when a charming live man comes courting, Lucy and the captain must deal with their feelings for each other.
Daisy Kenyon (Crawford) is a Manhattan commercial artist having an affair with an arrogant and overbearing but successful lawyer named Dan O’Mara (Andrews). O’Mara is married and has children. Daisy meets a single man, a war veteran named Peter Lapham (Fonda), and after a brief and hesitant courtship decides to marry him, although she is still in love with Dan.
In the border town of San Pablo, preparing for an annual ‘Mexican Fiesta,’ the tough, mysterious and laconic Gagin arrives. His mission is to find the equally mysterious Frank Hugo, evidently for revenge, or is it for blackmail? FBI agent Retz is also after the elusive Hugo. Everyone in town is enigmatic, especially Pila, a mystical young woman who follows Gagin around after premonitions of his death. The story includes a classic femme fatale and an antique carousel with a pink horse.
The greedy nephew of eccentric Matilda Reid seeks to have her judged incompetent so he can administer her wealth; but she will be saved if her three long-lost adopted sons appear for a Christmas Eve reunion. Separate stories reveal Michael as a bankrupt playboy loved by loyal Ann; Mario as a seemingly shady character tangling with a Nazi war criminal in South America; Jonathan as a hard-drinking rodeo rider intent on a flirtatious social worker. Is there hope for Matilda?