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When newspaperman Michael Hogan's wife dies during childbirth, he becomes despondent and questions his ability to take care of Nancy, his new daughter. While Mike sinks into a depression, Grace Conley, Mike's sister, and her husband Bill take the infant into their home. Eight years pass, and Nancy, now a young girl, is still living with Grace and Bill, who get an allowance for her upkeep from Mike. Grace and Bill rear Nancy with love, but are concerned about Mike's playboy lifestyle. Ashamed of her father's lack of interest in her, Nancy makes up stories about him to keep her friend, Alan Schroeder, from becoming suspicious. Mike, meanwhile, continues his philandering and goes out with his pal, George Cummings, to a drive-in diner, where Mike tries, unsuccessfully, to pick up a waitress named Barbara Adams. Nancy feels neglected and unloved, but her aunt shields her from the truth by telling her that her father cannot see her because he is overworked. One day, Nancy, hoping to improve her relationship with her father, goes to McCarthy, his boss, and demands that he give Mike more free time to spend with her. Later, Mike, trying a different tactic to get Barbara to date him, shows up pretending to be writing a newspaper story about the restaurant. The restaurant owner gladly gives Barbara the day off when Mike asks to interview her, but she goes along unhappily. Barbara changes her mind about Mike after he plants a kiss on her, but the mood is spoiled when McCarthy shows up and threatens to fire Mike if he does not pay more attention to Nancy. Barbara overhears the conversation and decides that Mike is not worth her time. Mike anguishes about his relationship with his daughter and finally decides to make it up to her. After apologizing to her, Mike takes Nancy to the drive-in, where he introduces her to Barbara. Nancy and Barbara become fast friends, and the three go bowling. One day, Barbara tries to tell Mike about Eddy Raymond, a Minnesota bank robber who was convicted through her testimony, but he stops her with a kiss. Eddy, meanwhile, breaks out of prison in Minnesota to exact his revenge on Barbara, and goes to the drive-in looking for her. He gets her address from her boss and goes to her house, where he shoots her and engages Mike in a bruising fistfight. The police arrive in time to kill Eddy and capture his accomplice, but Barbara is sent to the hospital with a gunshot wound. When Mike learns that Barbara is expected to make a complete recovery, he gets to work planning a big wedding and new family life.