The hero of Julien Vuvivier's film is an expensive dress coat, which affects the fortunes and misfortunes of all who wear it. In these five sumptuous vignettes set for the most part in New York, the black formal coat is the only linking device. We first come across the coat in short noir about a matinee idol (Charles Boyer) embroiled in a love triangle with a callous woman (Rita Hayworth) and her sadistic husband. Time second is a comical tale starring Ginger Rogers, Cesar Romero and Henry Fonda about a love cheat and his best friend. The third is a tearjerker with Charles Laughton as an amateur musician yearning to play in an orchestra. Edward G. Robinson stars in the fourth as a down-and-out lawyer who reluctantly attends his college reunion. Paul Robeson stars in the final fable, which concludes the coat's journey.