An Italian-American neighborhood in Louisiana is disturbed when truck driver Rosario Delle Rose is killed by police while smuggling.
Life at the Beauregard is stirred up, however, when the beautiful Ann Shankland arrives to see her alcoholic ex-husband, John Malcolm, who is secretly engaged to Pat Cooper, the woman who runs the hotel.
Meanwhile, snobbish Mrs Railton-Bell discovers that the kindly if rather doddering Major Pollock is not what he appears to be.
The news is particularly shocking for her frail daughter, Sibyl, who is secretly in love with the Major.
The title song (music by Harry Warren, lyrics by Harold Adamson), written for the film, became a best-selling single by Vic Damone on Columbia Records.
According to author Tony Thomas in his 1975 book, "Harry Warren and the Hollywood Musical," composer David Raksin preferred using just his own melodies in his Oscar-nominated score.
See more » This is without doubt one of the best films I have ever seen.
The fact that it all takes place in one small Bournemouth (England) hotel, no violence, no special effects, no thousands of extras, or vast expenditure says it all.
Excellent performances from a star studded cast, especially David Niven.
It is gripping from start to finish, but by modern standards in a gentle way.