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In 1938, Jimmy Dobson, a bellboy at New York City's elegant Eaton Hotel, and Albert Weever, a slow-witted hotel porter, are good friends of Leslie Odell, their crippled, bedridden neighbor who used to be a dancer. Jimmy regularly reads stories to Leslie and Albert, and Leslie, who is secretly in love with Jimmy, cherishes every moment with him. One day Princess Veronica of Hungary arrives at the Eaton Hotel with Countess Zoe and her major domo, Mr. Pufi. Veronica has come to America to rekindle a romance she had years earlier with newspaper columnist Paul MacMillan. Countess Zoe tries to persuade Veronica to forget her American lover and instead marry Baron Zoltan Faludi, who has followed her to New York, but the princess ignores the wishes of her family. When Veronica wanders into the employee offices of the hotel, Jimmy mistakes her for a new maid and invites her to join him for an afternoon stroll through Central Park. The two become fast friends, and when they return to the hotel, Mr. Fabler, the hotel manager, fires Jimmy for consorting with an important guest. Veronica, however, saves Jimmy's job by insisting that Fabler appoint him to be her personal attendant while she is in New York. With each passing day, Leslie learns more about Jimmy's budding friendship with Veronica and becomes increasingly jealous. When Paul sees Veronica for the first time since they parted, he tells her that he is still upset with her for leaving him, and insists that they remain strangers. Late one night, after Albert reads a fairy tale to Leslie about a princess, she dreams about a mythical kingdom where Albert is king and she is able to walk and dance: Upon entering a grand palace, Leslie asks the king to bring Jimmy back to her. The king grants Leslie's wish and promises to return her "prince" to her. Leslie's dream ends after she shares a dance with Jimmy. At the hotel, Jimmy misunderstands a conversation he overhears and believes that Veronica wants him and is waiting for a sign from him that he loves her. Jimmy tries to give Veronica a sign by asking her on a date, and she consents to go out with him, but only if he takes her to Jake's Joint. At the club, Jimmy finds Albert in the company of gangsters, who are trying to employ Albert in their illicit schemes. When the gangsters order Albert to strike Jimmy, a brawl ensues. Veronica gets involved in the fight and is arrested in a police raid. While Veronica is in jail, news arrives at the hotel that she has succeeded to the throne. Paul wins Veronica's release, but she loses her second chance with him when she becomes distracted by the pressures of being a queen. Veronica later invites Jimmy to return to Hungary with her, but Jimmy again misinterprets her and believes that she wants him to share the throne with her. Jimmy eagerly accepts the offer and bids farewell to Leslie. When Leslie reminds him of how much he loves her by trying to walk for him, however, Jimmy decides to stay in New York. Veronica eventually realizes that Jimmy was in love with her, and, inspired by Jimmy's ability to reject her love and the throne, she decides to relinquish her royal duties and return to Paul. Leslie soon makes a full recovery and dances with Jimmy at a nightclub, and they are joined by Veronica and Paul.