powered by AFI
Michael Morda, a young sculptor living in San Francisco, is madly in love with Elinor Hunter, and they plan to be married. When Elinor becomes jealous of Julie Stressman, an old friend of Michael's and one of his models, Michael reluctantly asks Julie not to visit him at his studio. They agree to meet only at the construction site where he is working on a sculpture for which Julie is modeling. When Elinor also shows up at the site, Julie leaves so as to avoid a confrontation, but she is killed by some falling materials. Julie's dying request is that Michael adopt her daughter Mitzi, whose father died years earlier. In order to prevent Mitzi from being taken to an orphanage, Michael lies and says he is her father. Elinor hears this, and without asking questions, leaves him and marries another man the same night. Michael and his friends, Jerry Wells and Winthrop Cole, raise Mitzi lovingly. Years later, she is a beautiful young woman and has fallen in love with Michael. When Elinor returns for an unveiling of one of Michael's sculptures, she reunites with Michael and promises to divorce her husband. Mitzi becomes jealous and tries to make Michael aware of her feelings toward him by adopting the appearance and manner of an adult during one of their dinners. Thinking she is playing a game, Michael goes along with her until she lights a cigarette. When she insists on smoking, he spanks her and a humiliated Mitzi leaves the room. Michael, however, is confused, and the next day he announces he has rented an apartment for her and their maid, Martha, so that Mitzi may have her independence. Mitzi still yearns for Michael, but both resist seeing each other. In the meantime, Elinor has left for Reno to get a divorce. Michael finally visits Mitzi, who has a male caller, Jimmy Martin. That night after Jimmy leaves, Mitzi and Michael re-enact their romantic dinner, but this time, they kiss, and Michael is further confused. He admits to Jerry that he is in love with Mitzi. Much to Michael's relief, Elinor returns from Reno and reveals she will reconcile with her husband, and she and Michael part amicably. Michael plans to propose to Mitzi, but Jimmy first asks his permission to marry her. Believing it is the best course, Michael gives his consent and returns to his studio, heartbroken. He finds Mitzi there and pretends that he is still engaged to Elinor. Although Mitzi also pretends to be happy about her upcoming marriage, they are unable to go through with the farce and joyously embrace, admitting they cannot let each other go.