powered by AFI
After she is seduced and then abandoned by the handsome but fickle World War I army officer Captain Resnick, Ann Vickers, an ambitious, devoted social worker, travels to Havana with her friend, Dr. Malvina Wormser, to have her illegitimate baby in secret. When the baby dies, however, Ann, deeply embittered by her romantic experiences, rejects the marriage proposal of longtime companion Lindsey Atwell and rededicates herself to her career, landing a job as a sociologist at a women's prison. Soon horrified by what she observes there, Ann protests conditions to the prison authorities. Instead of correcting matters, Ann's superiors frame her in a phony "sex" setup and threatened her with blackmail. Forced out of the job, Ann retaliates by writing a best-selling book about the terrors of prison life, which, with the help of influential Judge Barney Dolphin, earns her a post as head of another women's reformatory. Although the job challenges and enriches her, Ann still longs for romance and children, and upon at last meeting the successful but unhappily married Barney, she falls in love. Their romance blossoms and Ann becomes pregnant again, but as Barney is unable to secure a divorce, she must bear their son Matthew still unwed. At the same time, Barney is indicted and found guilty of accepting bribes and is sentenced to six years of hard labor. Because of Matthew's illegitimacy, Ann is made to resign her position at the reformatory but is content just to write free-lance articles to support Matthew and wait for Barney's release. To her joy, Barney receives a pardon after three years and, now divorced, returns home to marry Ann, who tells him that she is cured of her ambition and is happy to be a simple homemaker.