powered by AFI
Aspiring classical pianist Cynthia Potter is frustrated that concert booker Eric Wainwright is always too busy to see her. After six broken appointments, she overhears his receptionist discussing an open audition for children and decides to disguise herself as a twelve-year-old to get his attention. Cynthia's boyfriend, reporter John Tirsen, has grown weary of her unsuccessful quest for a career and asks her to marry him, but she can only think of her chance at a concert. At the children's audition that night, Cynthia arrives wearing phony braces and a childish outfit, then, playing under the name "Molly" Potter, overwhelms the previously bored Eric by her interpretation of Chopin's "Revolutionary Etude." Eric immediately goes backstage to talk about signing her for a concert, then walks her back home when she says that her older sister "Cynthia" could not come with her. The next morning, Eric excitedly mobilizes his staff to arrange for a publicity build-up for his child prodigy, then goes to meet Cynthia. Seeing Eric from her window, Cynthia plays another piece on her piano as he arrives. Eric thinks that Molly is there, but when she tells him that she was playing and indicates that she wants a concert tour, he lets her know that it is Molly's youth that makes her so special. He thinks that Cynthia is just jealous of Molly and they argue, but she eventually signs the contract for Molly. That afternoon, Cynthia, again dressed as Molly, arrives at Eric's office and begins rehearsing. After hours of practice, Eric takes Molly home and becomes worried when Cynthia has still not come home at eight o'clock. Deciding that he should take Molly for dinner, he leaves the apartment with her and is seen by a surprised John, who follows them to the restaurant. When John approaches their table, Cynthia talks so fast that John cannot get a word in until after she has told Eric that John is Cynthia's fiancé. When Eric leaves the table to make a phone call, Cynthia begs John to keep her secret so she can get her concert date, and he reluctantly agrees. When she then grabs his drink and cigarette, the waiter sees her and immediately tells Eric, who is incensed. Eric grabs Molly and drives her to his house in the country to keep her away from what he assumes is the bad influence of Cynthia and John. Molly behaves as a brat to housekeeper Mrs. Boykin and to Eric, and only promises to give up cigarettes and alcohol, which she says she has indulged in for years, if Eric does. The next day, Eric complains to Mrs. Boykin that he has always wanted to find and guide a child prodigy but has a hard time warming to the obnoxious Molly. That afternoon, Eric drives her to town and while there calls his office. Cynthia, meanwhile, is in another phone booth calling the office as herself and the receptionist connects them. They argue again but Cynthia agrees to let "Molly" stay in the country. That night, Eric is so desperate for a cigarette and a drink that he scours the house, then dives into the pool to retrieve one of the liquor bottles that Molly threw in. When she throws the bottle back into the water, Eric has had enough and gives her a spanking. The next day, Cynthia is still sore from the spanking and when John secretly comes to the house, she begs him not to spoil things for her, promising that he can do a story that will expose Eric as a fraud after her concert. John agrees, then kisses her goodbye on the lips. Eric sees the kiss and, assuming that John is taking advantage of Molly, knocks him out and sends him away. Cynthia is impressed by Eric's gesture and the two soon grow close. By the time they return to New York, Eric has been so kind to "Molly" that Cynthia has fallen in love with him and does not want to go through with the story, especially after John has a photographer take what could be interpreted as a compromising picture of them kissing. The night before the concert, Eric tucks "Molly" in and tells that he wants to adopt her because she has no one else. Cynthia then kisses him full on the mouth. A confused Eric quickly leaves, after which Cynthia sneaks out to meet John and ask him not to run the story. She suggests disappearing after the concert, but he explains that Molly's fame would make that impossible. The next morning, Cynthia dresses as herself and goes to see Eric, hoping that he will like her, but he rebuffs her. Now certain that Eric could never love the real her, Cynthia tells John she will marry him if he pulls the story. She arranges to meet him late that night at the train station, but does not tell him that she still plans to perform. Just before the concert, a reporter shows Eric a newspaper headline about Molly/Cynthia. Shaken and disillusioned, Eric goes onstage and tells the audience he has been duped, but asks them to stay and listen to a brilliant pianist. He leaves during the performance, for which Cynthia is given a standing ovation. She rushes to the train to confront John, who says he only ran the story when he learned that she lied about performing. The train is soon boarded by the police, who have been told by Eric that John is contributing to the deliquency of a minor. As Cynthia is still dressed as Molly, they arrest John. Eric then grabs Cynthia from the train and kisses her.