Esther Blodgett is just another starry-eyed farm kid trying to break into the movies. Waitressing at a Hollywood party, she catches the eye of alcoholic star Norman Maine, is given a test, and is caught up in the Hollywood glamor machine (ruthlessly satirized). She and her idol Norman marry; but his career abruptly dwindles to nothing.
Two former nightclub partners are now enlisted in the Army. Sergeant Puccinelli ranks above his former partner, Private First Class Korwin. Puccinelli is desperately trying to get transferred from his dull job to active duty overseas. Meanwhile, all Korwin wants is a pass to see his wife and new baby.