James Stewart is young lawyer John Horace Mason sent to Boston by his firm to get a deposition for an important case. He comes back with that deposition. And a wife! He met Jane(Carole Lombard) in a park when he helped her get a cinder from her eye. It was love at first sight for both of them.
Back in the city, he delivers the deposition and tells the oldest member of the firm, and his boss, Judge Joseph M. Doolittle(Charles Coburn), about his marriage and wish to go on a honeymoon. The Judge won’t hear of it, the case is too important and starts the next week. Mason reveals he’s already gotten a continuance and is given the go ahead for the honeymoon to Europe. But as they are about to board the ship, fellow lawyer in the firm, Carter(Donald Briggs) brings word he can’t go. The case is back on.
Mason is optimistic. He does a good job on the case and expects to move up in the firm. A new junior partner is to be announced soon and he believes it will be him.
Other pressures get in the way. Though there was never any formal arrangement, Mason was expected to marry the Judge’s daughter, Eunice(Ruth Weston), by both the judge and Eunice. When the time for the junior partner comes, the Judge announces that his daughter was again the advisor and the new junior parner would be Carter, who just happened to be Eunice’s new beau.
Other pressures mount at home. Mason’s mother(Lucille Watson) lives with them and she, too, had wanted her son to marry Eunice. She’s a constant nag about every little thing Jane does: the cooking, the cleaning, the way she talks to her son. When the new son is born, things only amp up.
Jane tells him he needs to ask for a raise. But he gets bullied into taking a 25% pay cut. “Things are tough and everyone needs to tighten their belt.”
Bad news comes on New Year’s Eve. The baby has pneumonia and is in serious condition. No serum anywhere in the city. It had all been sent to Salt Lake City to combat the epidemic. A frantic call finds that things have calmed down and six doses can be spared. Time is of the essence and it must be flown. But raging storms over the states across the country make it a dangerous undertaking. Five thousand it will cost. Only a rickety biplane is available(the pilot is played by Ward Bond).
A tense race begins. Contact is lost. No one has seen the plane in to long. Then the plane appears and seems okay until an oil leak sets the engine on fire and the pilot bails out. Injured on landing, he crawls to a nearby house.
The film was produced by David O. Selznick.