To escape the attentions of her lecherous boss, spry dental receptionist Janet Blake (Debbie Reynolds) accepts a lift home from a rain-soaked society party in rural Connecticut from handsome upcoming actor Bill Tremaine (John Saxon). But when Bill also comes on a little too strong she takes flight, knocking on the door of Bill's neighbour, actor-turned-horse-rancher Preston 'Mitch' Mitchell (Curt Jurgens). Short of options, Mitch and Janet agree she'll spend the night in his spare room. Mitch has chosen early retirement from theatrical life in the face of competition from a new tribe of wannabe Brandos: "This is the age of dirty T-shirts and motorcycle jackets...If you don't know Method and how to mumble, slouch, and pick your nose, you haven't got a chance". But his worldy-wise on-off girlfriend Nita Holloway (Alexis Smith) is determined to drag him back onto the stage. Janet, now desperate for work, accepts a role as Mitch's secretary, and begins a playful flirtation with the older man, who in turn is seduced by her girlish charms. But Bill, right next door, is also smitten: cue a four-way tug-of-love between youth and experience, hope and wisdom from which all or none may emerge as victors.