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Architect Hal Norton returns to his Pleasantville home, laden with presents for his family in celebration of his promotion to vice-president of his company. To his dismay, Gladys the maid, Hal's son Chris, his seventeen-year-old daughter Cathy and his wife Meg all greet him with gloom and distress. Eventually Meg reveals that Hal's widowed mother Louisa, who lives with the family, is the cause of the trouble. Earlier that day, her complaints alienated the grocer, Gladys, Chris, Cathy and Meg. Reluctantly, Hal tells his mother that without realizing it, she has caused a lot of trouble and suggests that she find an interest outside the family. The next morning, a wounded Louisa decides to attend a meeting of the Ladies' Auxiliary, and on the way, stops to apologize to Henry Hammond, the grocer. The two fall into conversation and agree that they have become more irritable with old age, partly because they are lonely. Soon Louisa and Hammond begin a secret romance. One night, Cathy sees them holding hands at a movie, and rushes home to tell her family. A shocked Hal waits up for Louisa, who then shyly confesses that Hammond has proposed. When Hal's emotional distress affects his work, his boss, Abel Burnside, orders him to go home early. That night, Hammond comes to dinner at the Norton home. He charms everyone, including Cathy's boyfriend, Jimmy Blake, but Hal remains skeptical. At the dinner table, Hammond again proposes to Louisa, but before she can answer, Burnside arrives with the news that Hal's latest project must be finished immediately. Burnside is immediately smitten by Louisa, and when she responds to his attentions, the jealous Hammond storms out. For the rest of the weekend, Burnside courts Louisa, who is still preoccupied with Hammond. At a country club dance, Burnside and Louisa win a dance contest, but after Burnside defeats Hammond in an Indian wrestling match, Louisa hurries to Hammond's side and Burnside returns to the city. On Monday morning, Burnside presents Hal with a complete dossier on Hammond, which shows him to be a bigamist. Louisa, however, refuses to believe it, and when Hal forbids her to see Hammond, runs away. A frantic Hal calls the police. Later, Burnside arrives at the Nortons', and then Jimmy shows up to report seeing a woman in the window of Hammond's living quarters. Everyone rushes to Hammond's and discovers that Louisa is indeed there. Hammond explains that all four of the women he was supposed to have married were actually the same one. He and his first wife were so much in love that they remarried every ten years until she died. With this news, even Hal is forced to concede that Louisa has found happiness. Later Louisa's marriage to Hammond is witnessed by all her happy friends and family.