The Milky Way (1936) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Timid milkman, Burleigh Sullivan (Lloyd), somehow knocks out a boxing champ in a brawl. The fighter's manager decides to build up the milkman's reputation in a series of fixed fights and then have the champ beat him to regain his title.

  • Sunflower Dairy delivery man Burleigh Sullivan is anything but "burly" as his name sounds. He is bespectacled, slight in build, mild mannered, the butt of jokes by his colleagues, and the bane of Wilbur Austin's existence, he the president of Sunflower. In standing up for his hat check girl sister Mae Sullivan, Burleigh gets into a street brawl with two hulking drunkards. The outcome of the confusion is that one of the men ends up being knocked unconscious with a black eye to boot. It comes to light to the world that the man knocked unconscious is Speed McFarland, the middleweight champion of the world, the other man his dim bodyguard, Spider Schultz. This situation causes problems for all concerned. Speed, who along with Spider have no recollection of the evening due to their drunken state, has a ruined reputation as a fighter due to someone like Burleigh knocking him out. His manager Gabby Sloan can't get him any more fights despite he being champion. And even Burleigh, who is up front to Gabby and Speed about exactly how Speed was knocked unconscious which isn't quite as it appears on the surface, doesn't want the world to believe he is something he is not. Gabby thinks he has a solution to all their problems which entails Burleigh becoming a boxer, if he can only convince Burleigh to cooperate. Even if he can get Burleigh to agree to the scheme, the best laid plans may not come to pass. But out there, someone may truly see and love Burleigh for all he is, warts and all, and in spite of all the publicity, that is if Burleigh can get over the publicity himself.



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