powered by AFI
Sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood from Columbus, Ohio arrive in New York City's Greenwich Village, where pragmatic Ruth hopes to find success writing and beautiful Eileen acting. The girls are quickly spotted as innocents by crafty but kind "Papa" Appopolous, who talks them into renting a shabby basement studio apartment, where the front doorknob continually falls off and the walls shudder violently during blasts from nearby subway construction. Later, the girls meet their neighbor, Ted "Wreck" Loomis, a part-time athlete who shares a studio with his fiancée Helen, whom he rarely sees as the two work opposite schedules. The following day, Wreck and Papa give the Sherwoods a pep talk before they leave in search of jobs. Ruth has a letter of introduction to Bob Baker, the editor of Mad Hatter magazine, but upon arriving at his office, discovers Bob is just leaving for vacation. While departing, Bob advises Ruth to write what she knows, rather than the phony sounding stories she submitted to him. Meanwhile, Eileen is invited into a theatrical producer's office only to find that he is more interested in her looks than her acting. Disappointed, Eileen lunches at Walgreen's Drug Store, where the soda fountain manager, Frank Lippencott, is sympathetic and offers to give her daily free lunches and tips, noting that many theater people eat at the store. Over the following two weeks, Ruth's stories are all rejected and Eileen has no luck securing auditions. One day at Walgreen's, reporter Chick Clark overhears Frank advising Eileen about an audition and, claiming to know the show's producer, promises to get her an immediate audition. Frank jealously insists on accompanying Chick and Eileen to the audition, which turns out to be for a strip show, much to Eileen's dismay and the men's embarrassment. Bob summons Ruth back to the Mad Hatter to tell her that he likes the most honest of her stories, those about her sister and her romantic escapades. When Ruth impulsively declares that she has no sister and that the stories are her own experiences, Bob is impressed and asks her for a date, but Ruth declines. At home, Ruth lies to Eileen about her interest in Bob, claiming that he is unattractive and boring or dull. Later, Wreck and Helen ask the girls if Wreck can stay with them a few days while Helen's mother visits and Eileen agrees despite Ruth's hesitation. Eileen admits that she has invited both Chick and Frank to dinner, but when a visiting plumber ruins the spaghetti sauce, the couples end up at El Morocco at Chick's invitation. There Chick monopolizes Eileen by promising her he will refer Ruth to his editor. Frank looks glumly at the couple, while Ruth tries to avoid Bob, whom she sees with a beautiful brunette. On the way home, an uncharacteristically tipsy Ruth insists the group stop at an empty bandstand, where she regales them about life in Ohio. The following day, Bob's elderly, female secretary reads Ruth's story and suggests she is lying about it being autobiographical, but Bob is flattered that Ruth would lie to him. He calls Ruth and asks her to meet him for dinner to discuss the publication of her story. That evening, Bob's suspicions are confirmed when Ruth runs out after he kisses her. At home, Eileen confesses to Frank that unless Ruth gets her story published, they will have to leave the next day as they have no more money. Later, Eileen overhears Frank singing about her in the garden and realizes that he is in love with her. When Frank sees Wreck in the girls's apartment, however, he accuses Eileen of being too bohemian for him and departs. Ruth arrives home to find Eileen in tears over Frank's accusation and she reveals Bob's unpleasant behavior. The next morning, Ruth receives a phone call from the newspaper editor who asks her to cover the arrival of the Brazilian Navy and, thrilled, dashes away. Chick, who has made the phony call in order to be alone with Eileen, comes to the apartment, but when he makes advances, Eileen screams for Wreck, who throws Chick out. Wreck comforts the distraught Eileen, only to be seen by Helen, who misunderstands. At the pier, Ruth is surrounded by the boisterous Brazilian naval cadets, who chase her back to the apartment when they misunderstand her questions. Bob telephones, and Eileen tells him off, after confirming that she is Ruth's sister. Hoping to calm the excited cadets, Ruth and Eileen ask them about the conga, only to start a wild dance party that soon engulfs the entire block and brings the police and several arrests. The Brazilian Consul frees the girls and the cadets, and the girls return home to pack while Wreck and Helen make up. Bob arrives and to Ruth's surprised delight, confesses that he is in love with her and also wants to publish her stories. Frank returns with an apology and a box of chocolates for Eileen. The Brazilian Consul presents the girls with a national appreciation and another party breaks out as the girls decide to remain in New York.