Highways by Night (1942) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • An unworldly inventor finds romance and adventure.

  • Rich, nerdish Tommy Van Steel seldom leaves his home gadget workshop, but somehow has become engaged to socialite Ellen Cromwell, who treats him badly. Innocently becoming drunk, Tommy takes to heart his Uncle Ben's advice to sow some wild oats, and soon he is involved with chorus girls, gangsters, and a troubled mom-and-pop trucking company.

  • When his two-fisted Uncle Ben Steel taunts him with his inability to get out and earn his own living if he had to, Tommy Van Steel, a rich young theorist, takes the challenge. He gets mixed up in an attempted gangster killing, escapes and stumbles into a job with the Fogarty family - a grandmother, a brother, Footsy, and a sister, Peggy - who are running a small trucking business. Peggy Fogarty takes his education in hand. A racketeer named Bronson is trying to force the Fogartys out of business and Tommy learns that he is mixed up with the gangsters who tried to kill him. Posing as a gangster himself, Tommy gains Bronson's confidence and deftly lifts a big trucking contract for the Fogartys from under Bronson's nose, intending to use the Van Steel, his own company, trucks to help out. Bronson learns of the deception, and plans on killing Tommy and wiping out the Fogarty business at the same time.


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