After working-class mother Ellen McNulty (Thelma Ritter) runs into financial troubles, she takes a trip to see her son, Val (John Lund), who is now married to the sophisticated Maggie Carleton (Gene Tierney). Never having met her mother-in-law, Maggie mistakes her Ellen for the newly hired help. Ellen, believing that her son is ashamed of his modest background, pretends that she is indeed a housekeeper. The misunderstandings multiply as she tries to keep her real identity hidden from Maggie.
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