Adapted from Harry Segall's play, the soul of a boxer is taken from his body too soon and must find another body to fulfill his destiny.
Manager Max Corkle (James Gleason) asks his boxer Joe Pendleton (Robert Montgomery) not to fly. Joe plays his saxophone, and the plane crashes. On clouds Messenger 7013 (Edward Everett Horton) and his boss Mr. Jordan (Claude Rains) tell Joe he is dead as people board a plane. Joe says it is a mistake, and 7013 took him before he was dead. Mr. Jordan learns that Joe has fifty more years and tells 7013 to take him back. They look for his body and can't be seen or heard by others. They go to Max and learn Joe's body was cremated. Mr. Jordan says he'll get Joe another body; Joe says his body was in top shape.
In New York they visit rich Farnsworth, who is being murdered in his bath by his wife Julia (Rita Johnson) and his secretary Tony Abbott (John Emery). Bette Logan (Evelyn Keyes) comes in to see Farnsworth to help her father he had framed for securities fraud. Mr. Jordan tells Joe that he can help her by being Farnsworth. Joe says he will for a while. Butler Sisk (Halliwell Hobbes) calls Farnsworth, and Joe becomes him. Tony and Julia are shocked to see Farnsworth, who tells Bette it will be all right. She does not believe him and leaves angrily. Sisk gives Farnsworth his sax, and Farnsworth tells Tony to get Logan out of jail. Tony says it will cost millions; but Farnsworth can afford it and gets Logan freed. Farnsworth's board complains their stock is going down; but he wants to box and asks Mr. Jordan for a better body. 7013 found a good body; but Bette comes in and thanks Farnsworth, who decides to stay himself.
Farnsworth trains. Max arrives to see Farnsworth, who says he is Joe. Max thinks he is crazy. Farnsworth tries to explain; Mr. Jordan won't help, but Joe persuades Max, who faints. Farnsworth asks Max to get him a fight and gives him a check. Farnsworth tells Bette he is training to box. Tony tells Julia he will kill Farnsworth. 7013 tells Joe he must leave Farnsworth's body. Farnsworth tells Bette not to forget him and kisses her. Mr. Jordan assures Joe he will be champion but not as Farnsworth, who is shot and dies.
At a boxing match Joe goes back for his sax and sees Max looking for him and arguing with Inspector Williams (Donald MacBride). Julia says that Farnsworth asked her for a divorce so he could marry Bette. Max says that Tony and Julia drowned Farnsworth before, confusing Williams. Joe gets Max to turn on the fight. Mr. Jordan has Joe replace boxer Murdoch, who is shot for betraying gamblers. Joe wins the championship as Murdoch and asks for his sax. Max goes to Murdoch and finds he is Joe, who tells him where Farnsworth's body is. Mr. Jordan tells Joe he is Murdoch but will lose his memory as Joe. Max realizes that Murdoch is no longer Joe, but Murdoch hires him. Murdoch runs into Bette, and they are drawn to each other even though they haven't met. Mr. Jordan smiles.
This unusual spiritual fantasy rings true to people
who intuitively know they are souls in bodies that may be changed
from life to life. As Mr. Jordan says, no one is ever cheated
(in the long run).