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Beautiful Madeleine Damien, the art editor for Boulevard , a New York City magazine, has had a series of loveless affairs and suffers from chronic insomnia. Currently, Madeleine is seeing a man named Freddie, while at the same time encouraging the affection of her boss, Victor Kranish. Wealthy advertiser Felix Courtland aggressively pursues Madeleine, and on the night of their first meeting, they make love. Later, Madeleine tries to commit suicide and crashes her car in front of the home of a psychiatrist named Caleb, who advises her to get help. After Jack Garet, her assistant, with whom she was once involved, accuses her of using men and tries to blackmail her, she quits her job and drops out of New York society. Living under an assumed name in an apartment house, Madeleine becomes a painter and a recluse. Courtland, meanwhile, learns from Caleb that Madeleine is "busy growing a new soul." Madeleine soon meets fellow tenant David Cousins, a research pathologist, and he falls in love with her sweet disposition, unaware of her troubled past. The night David proposes to Madeleine, she returns home and finds Courtland waiting for her. He assumes she still wants him and kisses her, leaving her confused. While David is out of town, Madeleine meets Ethel Royce, a former co-worker, at The Stork Club to help her with the magazine, and gets drunk. Garet, who was fired from the magazine and has since become Courtland's personal secretary, sees Madeleine in the restaurant and telephones Courtland, who accuses him of stealing a precious stone from his home safe. Courtland arrives and takes Madeleine to his mansion to convince her to return to him. They are about to kiss when Courtland leaves her to answer the door. Unaware that Garet has arrived, Madeleine sneaks out and walks home. He and Courtland fight, and Garet kills his boss with a blow from a table cigarette lighter. Madeleine is arrested, and after David denounces her, she refuses to defend herself in court. On Caleb's advice, David testifies that he still loves Madeleine, prompting her to testify that an intruder entered Courtland's house on the night of the murder. While searching Courtland's house for his wall safe, David realizes that the intruder was Garet and confronts him. When Garet pulls a gun on him, David disarms him. Madeleine is acquitted and leaves for a retreat, but is stopped by David.