powered by AFI
To obtain custody of her two orphaned nieces, Katie and Joan, coquettish heiress Susan Fletcher leaves her father's mansion and plunges herself into the bohemian world of Greenwich Village, where the girls reside with their guardian, artist John O'Halloran. By pretending to be an out-of-work actress, Susan ingratiates herself with John, the girls and the rest of the quirky "colony," which includes a boxing sculptor named Mike and Karl Stevens, an alcoholic painter. Although Susan soon learns to love the eccentric John, her concerns for his artistic career and for the well-being of her nieces grow. Without revealing her identity, she tries to talk John into participating in an art contest sponsored by her father, but out of stubborn pride, he refuses. After John loses his sign painting job at Walker's department store and is a failure as a door-to-door vacuum salesman, Susan proposes to him and is about to tell him the truth about herself when authorities from the juvenile aid society arrive and remove the girls. At the custody hearing, both Susan and John plead their cases to a panel of conservative judges, which finally grants custody to the Fletchers. Although they are pampered by the Fletchers, Katie and Joan remain miserable in the mansion until Susan announces her plan to return them to John on condition that he paint an entry in her father's art contest. Forced into jail, John is then starved into painting and renders a striking caricature of Susan and her father. Susan sells the drawing for an impressive sum and is forgiven by John, who happily agrees to become a respected member of the Fletcher clan.