Millie Blake is very careful about picking her husband, but that is no guarantee that a marriage will turn out well, nor that she will.
Hildy Johnson is an investigative reporter is looking for a bigger paycheck. When an accused murderer escapes from custody, Hildy sees an opportunity for the story of a lifetime. But when he finds the criminal, he learns that the man may not be guilty. With the help of his editor, Hildy attempts to hide the convict, uncover the conspiracy and write the scoop of his career.
Due to a possible cholera epidemic on board, passengers on a ship are forced to disembark at Pago Pago, a small village on a Pacific island where it always rains, only inhabited by islanders and United States marines. Among the stranded passengers are Sadie Thompson, a prostitute, and Alfred Davidson, a fanatic missionary who will try to redeem her.