Atterbury Dodd is an efficiency expert who believes everything can be reduced to mathematics. He is sent to Hollywood to see whether Colossal Pictures is a good investment. He soon learns that movie production doesn’t fit his formulaic mindset.
In old age, Miss Bishop reminisces about her life. A dedicated teacher, she spent her whole life teaching at Midwestern College. She never married when her first love married her cousin and another could not get a divorce from his wife. When her cousin dies giving birth, she raises the girl as if she were her own daughter and names her Hope. Throughout her life, she proved to be an inspiration to many students, many of whom move on to great things. On her retirement, many of her students return to say farewell.
Invalid George Jones is both physically and mentally ill. He mistakenly believes his wife Ellen and his doctor are having an affair and also planning to kill him. He writes a letter to his lawyer detailing their alleged murder plot. After he has Ellen give the letter to their postman, he reveals its contents to her and then threatens her with a gun. The excitement proves to much and George suffers a fatal collapse. Now Ellen must find a way to retrieve the incriminating letter.