Jerry Mulligan is an ex-GI and struggling artist in postwar Paris. His friend Adam Cook is a piano player in a nearby cafe, a sarcastic and morose individual who offers nothing but discouragement to Jerry. However, another friend, Henri Baurel, is more helpful. Henri tells his pal he is going to marry a wonderful girl, a dancer he rescued from the Nazis during the war. Jerry, meanwhile, is discovered by a wealthy patron who buys his paintings. Enjoying his newfound success, Jerry goes to a nightclub where he meets Lise. The two fall in love, but Lise confesses she is already engaged to Henri.