powered by AFI
While slumming with friends at Chez Mamie, a San Francisco nightclub, socialite Cathy Mallory becomes entranced by the original piano playing of Dan Evans. Assuming that Cathy feels only pity for him, the blind and bitter Dan drives her away with insults. Despite Dan's rebuff, Cathy's preoccupation with the musician grows, and she returns to Chez Mamie a few nights later, but learns from Chick Morgan, the club's band leader and Dan's best friend, that he has quit. Though sympathetic, Chick explains to Cathy that Dan, who has been blind for a year and a half, is not interested in romancing a rich, sighted woman. Determined to help and nurture Dan, the music-loving Cathy arranges to "bump" into him and Chick on the beach and pretends to be a blind woman named Mary Willey. As Mary, Cathy asks Dan to teach her how to play the piano and invites him to her home. Then on Chick's advice, Cathy rents a "clean but crummy" apartment with her longtime companion, Mrs. Willey, and pretends to be poor. Later, after Cathy, Mrs. Willey and Dan spend an enjoyable evening out, Dan invites them to his and Chick's apartment. There Dan begins to open up to Cathy and tells her that he became blind after a drunk driver crashed into the soda shop where he was eating and caused the window glass to cut his eyes. Touched by Cathy's gentleness, Dan finally finds the courage to resume work on the piano concerto he started composing before the accident. When Chick later tells Cathy that Dan's blindness might be cured by an operation performed by a New York specialist, but that he will never accept "charity," Cathy decides to sponsor a music writing contest with a $5,000 first prize, confident that Dan's concerto will win. As hoped, the contest inspires Dan to overcome all of his insecurities and complete his concerto. Dan, Cathy, Mrs. Willey and Chick then relax together at a lake resort, and Dan thanks Cathy for encouraging him. Later, on Christmas Eve, Cathy informs Dan that he has won the contest and that world famous pianist Artur Rubinstein, one of the judges, will be performing his concerto at Carnegie Hall in the spring. While Cathy anxiously waits in San Francisco, Dan goes to New York with Chick for his operation. The surgery is a success, but the seeing Dan has mixed feelings about the blind Cathy and refuses to write or talk to her. Concerned, Cathy goes to New York and decides to present herself to Dan as the contest's sponsor. Although the much-toasted Dan is soon entranced by the rich and sophisticated Cathy Mallory, he admits to her that he is still thinking about the blind woman he left in San Francisco. Hopeful that Dan will eventually recognize his love for "Mary," Cathy refuses to reveal her impersonation to him. Then, while listening to the first performance of his concerto, Dan finds himself recalling his days with "Mary" and tells Chick that they are taking the next train to San Francisco. Flying there, Cathy arrives at "Mary's" old apartment ahead of Dan, and greets the surprised and overjoyed composer with a kiss.