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Joe Clay, a hard-working, hard-drinking public relations man in San Francisco, meets Kirsten Arnesen, a young secretary who adores chocolate but hates liquor. Joe, however, quickly converts her to drink, and within a few months after their marriage, she is able to match him drink for drink. After losing five jobs within the next 4 years, Joe decides that he and Kirsten must go on the wagon. They move in with Kirsten's father at his nursery and stay off alcohol for several weeks. But one night they go on a monumental bender, and Joe, after destroying the greenhouse looking for a bottle he has hidden, ends up in a hospital drying-out tank. Hungerford, an ex-addict, encourages him to join Alcoholics Anonymous, but he is lured back to drink by Kirsten. Realizing that they are doomed as long as she refuses to admit to her alcoholism, Joe takes their child and moves into another apartment. With the help of AA, he is able to reestablish his career and regain his self-respect. One night Kirsten visits him and begs to be taken back, but Joe sends her away when she refuses to give up drinking.