Lily Mars (Judy Garland) is a girl who has grown up dreaming of starring on Broadway. When she happens to meet producer John Thornway (Van Heflin), she believes it's fate and begs him to cast her in his latest show. But Thornway rejects her, insisting he doesn't cast amateurs. Not to be deterred, Lily follows him to New York City, where she desperately auditions all over town. Despite his tough exterior, Thornway's heart begins to melt for this determined ingenue.