powered by AFI
An oppressed assembly-line factory worker is used as a guinea pig for his employer's test of an Automatic Feeding Machine. The machine malfunctions, nearly driving the worker crazy. In a nervous frenzy, he runs madly through the factory, spraying oil everywhere. He is taken to a hospital, but immediately after his release, is arrested when he is mistaken for a radical leader. Prison life is comfortable, and he reluctantly accepts parole after he heroically stops a jailbreak. Outside, he discovers mass unemployment, and despite a glowing letter of recommendation, he cannot hold a job. Eager to return to jail, he gallantly admits to stealing a loaf of bread to save a starving gamin. The result is that they are both arrested, but manage to escape the police. Together, they dream of a middle class life, and when the worker becomes a department store night watchman, they happily play among the luxuries they cannot afford. One night, burglars enter the store, and the worker is arrested again. The gamin tries to make a home for him in an abandoned shack, and this time, when he is released, his factory has reopened. He goes back to work repairing machines, but a strike puts him out of a job and back in jail. The gamin finally gets employment dancing in a cafe, and when the worker is freed, he becomes a singing waiter. Despite his ineptness, he makes a hit with an improvised nonsense song, but just as the couple are a success, the police try to arrest the gamin, who is wanted for running away from Juvenile Hall. The worker and the gamin escape the officers and set out on the road together.