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Stingaree

Stingaree is an American pre-Code romantic drama film directed by William A. Wellman released by RKO Radio Pictures in 1934. The film was based on a story by Ernest William Hornung, which was published in 1905. Set in Australia, it stars Irene Dunne as Hilda Bouverie and Richard Dix as Stingaree. Hollywood had previously filmed the Hornung story as serials in 1915 and 1917, starring True Boardman.

Plot

In 1874 Australia, newly installed Police Inspector Radford boasts to wealthy Hugh Clarkson that he will capture the famous outlaw Stingaree, who has returned to the area. Hilda Bouverie is an impoverished servant working for the Clarksons. Mr. Clarkson is kind, but his wife treats Hilda and Annie, another servant, as menials. Mrs. Clarkson is excited by the news that Sir Julian Kent, a renowned British composer, is going to be her guest. She dreams of performing before him and becoming an opera star, but her singing is not good. Hilda begs to be allowed to sing as well, but Mrs. Clarkson turns her down. Meanwhile, Sir Julian stops over at a tavern, where Radford and his colleagues are drinking. When Stingaree enters, the policemen are suspicious of the stranger; he is searched, but no weapon is found. His sidekick Howie follows, only he is armed. They abduct Sir Julian. Unaware of this, Mrs. Clarkson goes off to meet Sir Julian.