powered by AFI
Former automobile executive James P. Alden has retired to Pasadena with his wife Minerva and daughter Marcia, but is bored by his new inactive life. During a tea party at the Alden house, Marcia meets Greg Wilson, who has come with a friend. Marcia, who is engaged to handsome Carter Andrews, tries to chat with Greg, but he insults her and her friends, whom he sees as superficial rich people, and leaves the party in a huff. Alden, who is on a restricted diet for health reasons, has hired Herman Brinker, a former employee, to secretly cook for him the elegant meals that he enjoys. One day, Alden sees an advertisement for a service station and decides to buy it as a secret hobby. The current owner tells him that she has already sold a half interest to a mechanic, who turns out to be Greg. Alden takes an immediate liking to Greg, and pretending to be Herman, goes into partnership with him. To get enough money to fix up the station, Alden pretends to borrow the money from his former employer--himself. As soon as the station becomes successful, however, Alden and Greg are approached by racketeers who demand protection money. Unknown to Alden, Carter is another racketeer, whose assignment is to marry Marcia. Alden explains his daily absences from home by claiming to visit a former employee, so when a curious Marcia finds one of the station's cards in her father's pocket, she investigates. Although she does not find Alden at the station, she ends by accepting an invitation from Greg, who promises to show her "how ordinary people live." Their date at a baseball game is not a success, but Greg and Marcia are attracted to each other, although neither will admit it. In order to force Alden and Greg to pay protection money, the racketeers, meanwhile, frame them by dumping a load of stolen tires at the station. After Alden and Greg are arrested, Alden reveals his true identity. Greg does not believe him, however, and neither do the police. Greg then calls Marcia, who refuses to help at first. Later, she reconsiders but, not knowing that Greg's partner is really her father, pays only Greg's bail. Greg then tries to find "Herman's" family, and discovers the real identity of his partner. When Marcia learns that her father is missing, she convinces Herman to reveal Alden's whereabouts and returns to the jail to get him released. Alden then asks Marcia to drive Greg to their house, and by the time they arrive, the two have fallen in love. When Carter arrives at the Aldens' to elope with Marcia, Greg recognizes him as one of the racketeers and beats him up. With all the confusion finally cleared up, Marcia and Greg plan their marriage, and Alden agrees to return to Detroit to restore his failing auto company.