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Pierre Mirande, son of an impoverished French family, makes a living by acting as guide to Mrs. Billings and her daughter, Barbara, tourists in Venice. Although Barbara falls in love with him, her suitor, Ronnie, and her father see him as a fortune-hunting foreigner, and accordingly offer him a job in Mr. Billings' chewing gum factory in New York. Forced to live in a dingy boardinghouse, Pierre is given the toughest work in the plant, but Barbara assures him that bluff and fast thinking are necessities in American business. With his humorous songs, he captivates his landlady, Toinette, and the maid, Jennie, but falls asleep on the night he is expected to attend Barbara's party. Wrongfully accused of spilling rum on some chewing gum samples, Pierre is discharged; he is later reinstated and promoted when he sells the idea of rum-flavored chewing gum with his own advertising lyrics. Insulted, Barbara plans to marry Ronnie, but Pierre kidnaps her aboard a speedboat.