Leo Carrillo is the title character in this adaption of a Booth Tarkington story about an Italian florist with a heart of gold.
Antonio is a New York florist who is closing his shop for the summer. With him is is friend Joe who plays the hurdy gurdy. He likes to pretend to shoot people so Antonio gets him two cap pistols and tells him not to shoot anyone except him. On the way out of town he talks with the beat cop and stops outside a nightclub.
A man has just been tossed out. He’s drunk and complains he’s been robbed of all his money and his overcoat. A woman says he kept ordering champagne. A bit later Antonio gives him a twenty dollar bill. He looks familiar to Antonio. He finally remembers that he’s the Mayor of Avalonia, Pennsylvania.
Antonio and Joe stop a half mile outside of the town to camp. In town Mayor Milton Jorny is giving a speech to get himself reelected. He runs on a Purity platform in a town where everything is closed on Sundays. He finds out his niece June (Virginia Valli) was dancing and drinking the night before in a roadhouse. She doesn’t say anything but her companion was Milton’s son. She says she was just drinking ginger ale. Milton doesn’t want to hear it and orders her out of the house. She’s lived there for five years and was the seven day a week maid. Doesn’t matter. Out she goes. Her mother left her two thousand dollars. Milton says he won’t give it to her yet.
Outside town she runs into Antonio who sets up a tent for her to spend the night. He tells her he has a friend in town who will fix everything. He gets the whole story and heads for town. He stops outside Milton’s house and Joe plays “Onward Christian Soldiers.” Milton almost faints when he looks out the window and sees Antonio. He pretends he’s sick and won’t come outside.
Antonio ends up getting arrested. In jail he places a call to Milton. The jailer makes him hang up and not bother the Mayor. Joe comes in with his cap pistols drawn. That breaks Antonio out of jail. He heads for Milton’s house.
Of course it all winds up like as expected. Carrillo’s fake accent is at times so thick he’s almost impossible to understand. Still it’s one of those pleasant feel good movies with a likeable main character who has to deal with a hypocrite.
Leo Carrillo is best known to TV fans as Pancho on “The Cisco Kid” (1950-56).