In the run up to Christmas, Lee Leander is arrested for stealing a diamond bracelet from a New York City jewelry store. The Assistant District Attorney, John Sargeant, is assigned to prosecute her. The trial begins just before Christmas, and rather than face a jury filled with the holiday spirit, Jack has it postponed on a technicality.
When Jack hears Lee complaining to her lawyer about spending Christmas in jail, he feels guilty and asks bondsman Fat Mike to post bail. Fat Mike assumes that Jack wants to force Lee into an affair, and after freeing her he delivers Lee to Jack's flat. Discovering that Lee is a fellow Hoosier (native of Indiana), and that she has nowhere to spend Christmas, Jack offers to drop her off at her mother's house on his way to visit his own family.
On the drive, Jack gets lost in Pennsylvania and the couple spends the night parked in a field. The next morning, they are arrested by the landowner for trespassing and destruction of property, and taken to an unfriendly justice of the peace. Lee starts a fire in his wastebasket as a distraction, and the pair flees. Lee's mother, a malevolent embittered woman, has remarried, and does not want anything to do with her daughter, whom she considers a lost cause.
Jack decides to take Lee home to spend Christmas with his family. She is warmly received by his cousin, Willie, Aunt Emma, and his mother, even after Jack reveals Lee's past. On New Year's Eve, Jack kisses Lee at a barn dance, and later that night his mother goes to Lee's bedroom for a talk. She reveals that the family was poor during Jack's childhood, and that he worked hard to put himself through college. She asks Lee to give Jack up, rather than jeopardize his career, and Lee agrees.
On the way back to New York via Canada (to bypass Pennsylvania), Jack tells Lee that he loves her, and tries to persuade her to jump bail, but she refuses. Back in New York, Jack tries to lose Lee's case by harsh and aggressive questioning, to get the jury to sympathize with her. Jack's boss has been alerted to the affair, and secretly listens outside the courtroom. Realizing that Jack may damage his career, Lee changes her plea to guilty. As she is led away, Jack wants to marry Lee on the spot. She refuses, saying that if he still feels the same way when she has served her sentence, and he has had time to consider his decision, they can marry.
|Barbara Stanwyck||Lee Leander|
|Fred MacMurray||John Sargent|
|Beulah Bondi||Mrs. Sargent|
|Elizabeth Patterson||Aunt Emma|
|Willard Robertson||Francis O'Leary|
|Charles Waldron||Judge in New York|
|Paul Guilfoyle||District Attorney|
|Thomas Ross||Mr. Emory|
|Tom Kennedy||'Fat' Mike|
|Georgia Caine||Lee's Mother|
|Virginia Brissac||Mrs. Emory|
|Spencer Charters||Judge at Rummage Sale|
|Jean Acker (uncredited)|
Avril Cameron (uncredited)
Frank Conklin (uncredited)
Harry Depp (uncredited)
Julia Faye (uncredited)
Galan Galt (uncredited)
Beth Hartman (uncredited)
Milton Kibbee (uncredited)
Pat O'Malley (uncredited)
Walter Soderling (uncredited)
Bernard Suss (uncredited)
Julius Tannen (uncredited)
|Ambrose Barker (uncredited)||Customs Official|
|John Beck (uncredited)||Lee's Stepfather|
|Brooks Benedict (uncredited)||Courtroom Spectator|
|Chester Clute (uncredited)||Jewelry Salesman|
|Roy Crane (uncredited)|
Ruth Warren (uncredited)
|Edmund Elton (uncredited)||Minister|
|James Flavin (uncredited)||Court Attendant|
|George Guhl (uncredited)||Court Guard|
|Fuzzy Knight (uncredited)||Bandleader at Barn Dance|
|Lillian Lawrence (uncredited)||Townswoman at Rummage Sale|
|Kate Lawson (uncredited)||Jail Matron|
|Martha Mears (uncredited)||Nightclub Singer|
|George Melford (uncredited)||Brian (Bailiff)|
|Florence Wix (uncredited)||Judge's Wife|
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