Martin Scorsese combined the splashy atmosphere of the old studio musical with an unromanticized marriage story in his valentine to Hollywood and the Big Band era.
On V-J Day 1945, newly minted civilian saxophonist Jimmy Doyle (Robert De Niro) meets USO singer Francine Evans (Liza Minnelli) at a dance, but she rebuffs every advance that he makes. A day and a hotel lobby meeting later, Jimmy finally wins Francine over after she uses her pop instincts to save his too-jazzy audition at a nightclub.
When she goes on tour with Frankie Harte (Georgie Auld) and his Orchestra, Jimmy tracks her down, taking a job with the orchestra to be with her. Together on stage, they make beautiful music; off stage they marry, but the struggle between two artists begins to take its toll.
Unable to understand that Francine's needs and talents are just as important as his, and unwilling to compromise his music for security, Jimmy abandons Francine after their baby is born. Separately, the two succeed even more, as Francine becomes a music and movie star, while Jimmy has a top hit and opens a jazz club.
When they are reunited several years later, the pair must decide if their relationship is worth another try.