powered by AFI
As he strolls along skid row, transient Joe Mason wanders into a cafe looking for food and work. The manager, Mike Sullivan, insults him but agrees to give him a meal for cleaning up. When Mike makes a pass at waitress Catherine "Kitty" Foster, Joe comes to her defense but ends up on the street without his dinner. Kitty invites Joe to the engagement party of some friends, where Joe pretends to be an engineer just back from the fields. Joe and Kitty become attached, with Joe thinking things will be better for him in this town. That night, Joe is arrested for vagrancy and ordered to serve six months in jail, get a job, or leave town. Kitty convinces Joe to stay, sending him to her father's barber shop to clean up. Insulted by her father, Joe instead goes to a barber school, where he compliments the teacher into a complete shave and haircut. Joe's only job offer is selling oranges, but he needs money for gas and oil. Wandering the streets, Joe runs into fellow transient Harry Brent, who goes into a partnership with him. At dinner with Kitty's family, Joe is constantly berated by her father, who feels men like Joe are a burden on society and should go back to where they come from. After dinner, Joe tells Kitty that he is an amnesia victim who has no recollection of who he was six months earlier, before Harry found him in a railroad yard. Walking along skid row, the two proclaim their love for each other, selecting an engagement ring in a pawn shop window. The next day, Joe and Harry are arrested for selling oranges illegally, but Harry takes all the blame himself. Kitty offers to support Joe by working in the "Honeymoon Dance Palace," but he refuses. Finding her working there, Joe causes a riot and cracks open his head resisting arrest. In the hospital, Joe regains his former identity of Richard Havens, Jr., the son of a wealthy manufacturer in Chicago. Richard has no recollection of his life as Joe. His father and lawyer try to buy both Kitty and Harry off, but Richard wants to know about his missing life. Kitty, upset that she has lost her love, tells Richard to leave her alone. As he and his father walk along skid row, his father repeats something Kitty's father had said to him. Richard's life as Joe comes completely back to him and he convinces his father of his love for Kitty, pawning his father's watch to buy her the engagement ring. Richard returns to the Foster home, calling out to Kitty: "It's Joe. I've bought the ring." She runs out the door and they kiss.