In Stillwater, Connecticut, Professor Oliver Wendel Holmes Dana's
household is a mess, as his housekeeper, Cora Foster, is the only
one working efficiently. Oliver, the principal of the local high
school, has three daughters, would-be actress Sylvia (Anne
Nancy, and quiet Jane. Jane worries that she is too much the "nice
girl," as her boyfriend, Don Webb, is more interested in his
custom-made car than in her.
When the Van de Meer Foundation then
sends scientist Richard Calvert to the Dana
home to consider
Oliver for a fellowship, the family is surprised to find that
instead of the bearded scientist they had expected, Richard is a
distinguished gentleman who immediately attracts Jane's fancy. His
attention to her, however, is deflected by her two sisters and the
arrival of Don. At the local Fourth of July celebration, Jane
finally seems to gain the interest of Richard, only to lose it
when she is called away to sing.
Richard leaves for New York the
next day, and Don offers to loan his car to Jane to drive him
there. When Don's car malfunctions along the way during a
rainstorm, Jane is forced to stay alone with Richard at his home.
Dressed in his elegant sister's pajamas, Jane drinks champagne
with Richard, but while she strikes a seductive pose, he remains a
He then receives a phone call from his mother, and
when Jane overhears him allaying his mother's fears by calling
Jane "just one of the Dana girls," she feels a fool and rushes
home. When she arrives in her hometown at the break of dawn, the
horn in Don's car goes off, waking the entire town. Later that
morning, Jane confesses all to her father, who is relieved that
nothing happened and tells her that the town could use "some five
At the charity bazaar, the gossip flows as freely
as the punch, and the head gossip, postman Hector Titus, announces
to the multitude that Jane and Richard are engaged. Jane then
arrives at the bazaar, and is mystified when she receives
congratulations from all. When Don goes to comfort her, she
becomes upset by his "taking her for granted," and falsely
confirms the engagement, showing a South Seas "wedding" ring as
proof of her betrothal.
Richard arrives in town, as his trip to
Australia has been postponed, to inform Oliver that he has been
awarded the fellowship. The two men enter the bazaar, where they
mistakenly accept congratulations for Richard's engagement, not
Oliver's fellowship. When Richard realizes what has really
happened, he agrees to along with the deception until the
townspeople try to force him and Jane into a quickie wedding.
Thinking fast, they enact a "breakup" with the help of her father.
The upset Don has enlisted in the army, however, so Jane goes to
the local army post to find him. The two make up, then Jane sings
for the soldiers, with special attention to her soldier.