A teenage girl with nothing to lose joins a traveling magazine sales crew, and gets caught up in a whirlwind of hard partying, law bending and young love as she criss-crosses the Midwest with a band of misfits.
When hedonistic but charming con man Elmer Gantry meets the beautiful Sister Sharon Falconer, a roadside revivalist, he feigns piousness to join her act as a passionate preacher. The two make a successful onstage pair, and their chemistry extends to romance. Both the show and their relationship are threatened, however, when one of Gantry's ex-lovers decides that she has a score to settle with the charismatic performer.
Based on the Depression-era bildungsroman memoir of writer A. E. Hotchner, the film follows the story of a boy struggling to survive on his own in a hotel in St. Louis after his mother is committed to a sanatorium with tuberculosis. His father, a German immigrant and traveling salesman working for the Hamilton Watch Company, is off on long trips from which the boy cannot be certain he will return.
During the Great Depression, a sheet music salesman seeks to escape his dreary life through popular music and a love affair with an innocent school teacher.
Teresa’s life is turned upside down when she is forced to accept a job far away. On her way, she loses her bag, causing her to cross paths with El Gringo, a traveling salesman.
In 1904, Doc Tilbee, medicine show huckster and champion tall-tale teller, gives a ride to a young boy escaped from an orphanage, where bad conditions (the result of political graft) are being investigated by new appointee Zerelda Wing, who doesn't know that her fiancée is one of the politicians responsible. Tad wants to stay with his new friend Doc, who is attracted to Zerelda, to the discomfiture of his old flame Clara...all amid nostalgic musical numbers.
Cute waitress/hooker is romanced and wed to handsome stranger/funeral director. He, as well as most of the town prefer their women dead. She is the obvious candidate for that position, as his two previous wives were in terrible shape even for dead persons. She must be fleet of foot indeed to avoid their fate.
Set in 1912, inside a dive bar named The Last Chance Saloon, its destitute patrons eagerly await the arrival of Hickey, who arrives annually and props everyone up with free drinks and spirited stories of his travels. However, when Hickey does show up this year, it is with a message of temperance and an exhortation to give up hopeless dreams and face reality.
Roscoe the Rainmaker is invited to California (with sidekick "Billy") to relieve a terrible dry spell and to save the community from an unscrupulous businessman who stands to profit from the drought
The soul of an evil witch about to be burned is transferred to the child of a pregnant woman in the audience. 19 years later a timid girl arrives at a farm looking for work. The farmer employs her despite his wife's protests. Soon it stands clear that the girl is in fact the evil witch, returned to wreak havoc on the farmer and his family. Plot by Mattias Thuresson.
Bobby Clark and Paul McCullough take to the streets as pots and pans salesmen, wreaking havoc door to door with their demonstrations of their cookware.
Theodore Hickman, a hardware salesman, makes by-yearly visits to Harry Hope's 1910-era waterfront bar for his periodical drinking binges. But on this visit he has decided to try to save the bar's patrons from their "lying pipe dreams."
A room in an anonymous hotel has a profoundly dark effect on all who stay there.
The wild and wanton Francisca, known as "The Tigress," is the eldest of three sisters, who are bosses of a farm in Ecuador. A medicine man tells Francisca and Juliana that their youngest sister Sara must remain a virgin to protect their land. A travelling salesman, engaged to Sara, tells the police that she is being kept locked up by her older sisters.