Bing Crosby does the Academy Award-bid bit in the atypical role of a self-pitying alcoholic, but it was his co-star, a deglamorized Grace Kelly, who won the Oscar for her performance in The Country Girl. This adaptation of Clifford Odets' play stars Crosby as Frank Elgin, a once-famous Broadway star who's hit the skids.
Hotshot young director Bernie Dodd (William Holden), a longtime admirer of Elgin, tries to get the old-timer back on his feet with a starring role in a new play. But Dodd must contend with Elgin's hard, suspicious wife Georgie, who seemingly runs roughshod over her husband.
Dodd holds Georgie responsible for Elgin's lack of self-confidence and his reliance upon the bottle--a suspicion fueled by Elgin himself, who insists that Georgie has been suicidal ever since the death of their son.
When Elgin goes on a monumental bender during the play's out-of-town tryouts, the truth comes out: it is Elgin who is suicidal, and Georgie has been the glue that has held him together.
Adopting a now-or-never stance, Dodd forces Elgin to stay off the sauce long enough for the play to open--and, in spite of himself, falls in love with Georgie. A few Hollywood liberties were taken with the Odets original, including a slightly altered ending.