John Van Druten adapted his own play about two women who are life-long friends; both become novelists and are in love with the same man.
In 1924 novelist Kit Marlowe (Bette Davis) returns to her home town and stays with her friend Millie (Miriam Hopkins), who is married to Preston Drake (John Loder). Millie is pregnant and gets upset that Kit went off with her fan club. Kit says she envies her, and Millie shows Kit her manuscript novel. Millie writes a series of romance novels that are successful.
In 1932 Preston is interviewed about Millie, and Kit tells Preston why she feels close to Millie. Preston tells Kit that he loves her. Millie's daughter Didi also likes Kit. Preston is miserable and drinks. Millie gives Kit a jewel and quarrels with her and Preston, who packs to leave. Kit finds Preston in a hotel, and he says it is over with Millie. Preston asks Kit if she loves him, and she says her friendship with Millie prevents her. Preston refuses to see Millie, and Kit kisses him goodbye. Millie comes in and is upset that Preston won't see her.
Ten years later Kit speaks on radio for the Red Cross, and Preston hears her. He calls her, and they meet. Preston asks about Millie and says he has found someone. Kit's younger beau Rudd Kendall (Gig Young) brings Didi (Dolores Moran) to join Kit. Didi meets her father Preston for the first time in ten years. Rudd dances with Kit and reminds her that he wants to marry her. In the morning Rudd comes to see Kit, shows her his commission, and asks her to marry him before he goes to war. Kit asks for a few days to decide. Didi goes for a walk with Rudd, buys records and asks him to dance. Didi admits she does not really love Lucian, and Rudd advises her to wait for real love. Kit calls on Millie, who is expecting Preston and hoping he will come back to her. Kit tells Millie that she is going to marry Rudd. Didi wishes her mother luck with Preston and slips out. Preston comes in and says he wants to share Didi now that he is getting married. He tells Millie that he was in love with Kit and that she loved him too. Millie tells Didi that Kit broke up her marriage. Millie tells Didi that Kit is going to marry Rudd, causing Didi to cry and run out. Didi sees Kit in the hall and congratulates her. Millie accuses Kit of taking Preston away from her. Kit calls Millie jealous and is hurt that Didi's faith in her was shaken. Kit shakes Millie and leaves. Rudd in uniform arrives to see Kit, who wants to celebrate with him; but Rudd tells her he has fallen in love with Didi. Kit is crestfallen but says she is happy for them. Rudd leaves to see Didi at Preston's. Kit goes to Lucian's to get Didi and says that Rudd no longer loves her but that Rudd and Didi are right for each other. Kit goes home and finds Millie there. Millie apologizes, and Kit forgives her. Kit tells Millie that Rudd is going to marry Didi, and Millie tells of her book about two women friends who are left alone together.
This melodrama reflects the difficulty women of that
era had combining a career with marriage; but even though these
two writers lost their men, their friendship for each other survived.