Based on the Lerner-Lowe musical, two New Yorkers discover a fantasy village in Scotland where love can cause unusual miracles.
In the highlands of Scotland people wake up in the morning and sing in the marketplace “Down on MacConnachy Square.” Tommy Albright (Gene Kelly) consults a map while Jeff Douglas (Van Johnson) looks for something to hunt. Jeff only believes what he understands, and Tommy is unsatisfied. They see a village that is not on the map.
Jean Campbell (Virginia Bosler) is getting married, and her sister Fiona Campbell (Cyd Charisse) sings “Waiting for My Dearie” and dances.
In the town square a map is displayed, and everyone is warned not to leave the boundaries of the town. Tommy and Jeff ask people for directions but get no answers until Fiona talks to them. People in the square are surprised to see Tommy and Jeff. A man will not accept their money; but Charlie Dalrymple (Jimmy Thompson) offers them a drink because he is getting married. Charlie sings “I’ll Go Home with Bonnie Jean” with Jeff and Tommy, who tap dance.
Jean asks Fiona about the two strangers in town and wants to go for bread, but Fiona goes instead. Jeff tells Meg Brockie (Dodie Heath) that he does not believe in marriage. Tommy is glad to learn that Fiona is not Charlie’s bride. Tommy talks with Fiona, who goes to gather heather from the hills. Tommy sings “The Heather on the Hill,” and they dance.
Harry Beaton (Hugh Laing) tells Andrew Campbell (Albert Sharpe) that he hates everyone because he cannot have Jean. Jeff and Meg talk in a shed, and he lays down to sleep. She thought he wanted to propose to her. Tommy sees white heather, and Fiona becomes afraid and runs off.
Jeff sees Tommy take a tumble, and Tommy sings “Almost Like Being in Love” and dances. Tommy finds a Bible that lists Fiona as born in 1732 and Jean marrying Charlie Campbell in 1754. Tommy asks Fiona to explain, and she takes them to see Mr. Lundie (Barry Jones), who says a miracle happened two hundred years ago. Brigadoon disappeared, but they appear for one day every one hundred years. If anyone from Brigadoon leaves, Brigadoon will disappear forever. Tommy asks if a stranger could stay. Mr. Lundie says he can if he loves someone in Brigadoon more than anything. Mr. Lundie says he is happy and that there must be many searching for a Brigadoon.
A band of bagpipes marches, and Mr. Lundie says that two people may wed each other by mutual consent. Charlie and Jean do so and then dance. Harry Beaton tells Jean that he wanted Jean too much and runs off. People go to stop him from leaving Brigadoon. Men searching sing “The Chase.” Tommy stops Harry from crossing a bridge. Jeff shoots a bird, and Harry falls. Men find that Harry is dead and keep it secret. Andrew Campbell tells Fiona that Harry was stopped and is not hurt. Fiona finds Tommy, and they embrace and dance and kiss. He says he cannot leave her. He runs off to find Lundie and tells Jeff that he is not going back with him. Jeff says how his shot killed Harry and that the whole thing is not real. He tells Tommy to say goodbye to the little people. Lundie and Fiona arrive, and Jeff says he will wait by the bridge. Tommy wishes he had more time, and he says goodbye to Fiona.
Jeff observes busy people in New York and orders another drink. Tommy comes in and says he is not sure he wants to get married. Jane Ashton (Elaine Stewart) comes in and talks to Tommy while he remembers Brigadoon. She says Jeff is impossible. Tommy tells her he is calling off the wedding for good. He calls Jeff and asks him to go back to Scotland with him. In the highland Tommy says it became too real for him. They hear the song “Brigadoon” and see the village. They run down the hill, and Lundie says Tommy woke him up. Lundie says that if you love someone enough, anything is possible. Fiona comes out of her house and finds Tommy.
This romantic musical offers audiences a pleasant fantasy world in which people in love can be happy one day each century while sleeping the rest of the time. Nonetheless the idea that true love can bring about miracles is one many believe and make true to some degree or another.