powered by AFI
After "wintering" in New York, Pasadena businessman Pete Wells prepares for his ocean voyage home by throwing a wild party in his stateroom. While drunk, Pete signs a letter written by his best friend, playboy Alan Chandler, in which his various adulterous affairs are described in detail. Determined to remain a bachelor, Alan has arranged for the letter to be sent to Pete's wife Grace, but has instructed that it not be opened until he marries. The next morning, after the letter has been mailed and the ship is in mid-ocean, Pete discovers Zoe and Vera, two of his party-goers, stranded in his stateroom. To keep the women safely in his cabin, Pete bribes steward Hickey to steal their clothes. He then hires Hickey to discourage the blossoming romance between Alan and German beauty Elsa Von Rader, fearful that it may lead to marriage and, consequently, the opening of the letter. Soon after, Pete runs into a friend of his wife, Miss Potts, a principal who is traveling with teacher Laurie Marlowe. When Pete and Miss Potts encounter the half-dressed Zoe and Vera on the ship's deck, Pete tells her that the young women are his nieces. While Miss Potts and Pete's "nieces" become acquainted, Alan accidentally waltzes into Laurie's stateroom and begins to romance her. Although attracted to the polished playboy, Laurie dismisses him, and he continues his affair with Elsa until the machinations of Hickey bring him back to Laurie. Now concerned about keeping Alan away from Laurie, Hickey arranges for her to see Elsa entering Alan's cabin. Hurt, Laurie snubs Alan when they dock in Los Angeles, unaware that he had ended his affair with Elsa. Once home with Grace, Pete and Alan try to retrieve the letter, but she insists on keeping it. Alan then tracks down Laurie as she tours northern California and, after explaining about Pete and the letter, proposes to her. Grace, meanwhile, runs into Miss Potts and learns of Pete's "nieces" and Alan's impending marriage. Although Pete believes that he has burnt the letter, Grace, anticipating Pete's conniving, produces it after Laurie and Alan have left for their honeymoon and begins to read it as Pete shrinks in horror next to her.