Joan Fontaine, John Mitchum, Mel Ferrer, Zachary Scott
The night before she is supposed to host a party for her artist friend Gobby, Donna is forced to deal with the arrival of her boss John Caine's niece Christabel, who has arrived in the city to attend business college. Donna's fiancé Curtis arrives, and Christabel becomes immediatly interested in him when she is told that he is extremely wealthy. Before the party, Curtis confides to Christabel that his wealth is sometimes a burden as people expect him to apologize for having money. Christabel assures him there is no need. At the party, Christabel meets Nick Bradely. Nick is immediately attracted to Christabel and hits on her, though she rejects his advances. A few weeks later, Christabel is having dinner with Nick, who has been pursuing her. Christabel tells him that she was raised by a poor aunt, and Nick observes that she is 'two people.' On one side, an ambitious fortune hunter who wants to give herself everything she's never had, and on the other side, a normal unaffected young woman, who he likes. Nick kisses her, and then Christabel kisses Nick. Christabel, having dropped out of business school, is having her portrait painted by Gobby. Curtis calls her, and tells her he desperately needs her advice on something. Christabel breaks a date with Nick, who she has been seeing, to visit Curtis. It turns out that his dilemma is what to buy Donna as an engagement present. Christabel tries to talk Curtis into buying her a cheap trinket, but Curtis takes the shop assistance's advice and buys an expensive sapphire necklace. Later, when Curtis gives it to her, Christabel expresses shock that Donna would accept such an extravagant gift, and Donna becomes flustered. At the opening of Gobby's exhibition, Curtis confides in Christabel that he is worried Donna is marrying him for his money. Christabel maliciously suggests that a pre nuptial agreement would reveal whether or not Donna truly loves Curtis. Later that night, at the end of a date, Nick proposes to Christabel. When she gets inside, she finds Donna packing, deeply upset at Curtis's implied mistrust. Donna tells Christabel that she knows she secretly sabotaged her marriage. The next day, Christabel's uncle informs her that she is going back home, as she dropped out of business school and therefore has no reason to stay in the city. He also tells her that Nick is moving to Boston. That night, at a charity ball, Christabel seizes her opportunity and throws herself at Curtis, telling him that she has been in love with him the whole time and can no longer suppress her feelings. They become engaged. When she returns home, however, she finds Nick asleep on the sofa waiting for her. When Christabel tells him she is going to marry Curtis, Nick becomes angry and tells Christabel that she will never be happy or satisfied with Curtis because she is not sexually attracted to him. Nick storms out, feeling embittered and leaving behind a disillusioned Christabel.Six months later, Christabel has thrown herself into social societies and clubs to avoid having to spend time with Curtis. Christabel's ill aunt Clara has been living with them, but Christabel, afraid that she will convince Curtis to stop spending money on her. Curtis tells her that he wants for them to go away alone together for a weekend, but Christabel uses a charity ball she is organizing as an excuse. At the ball, Christabel runs into Nick, who is promoting his new book. Going alone into a courtyard, Christabel reveals that she is unhappy and confused, and that she misses Nick and wants to see him again. Nick rebuffs her, telling her that although he loves her, he doesn't date other mens' wives.Later that night, Curtis, having seen Christabel disappear down the courtyard steps with Nick, tells her that he wants them to go away. He becomes suspicious when she agrees to leave on Tuesday, knowing that Nick leaves on Monday. He informs her that they should go away right at that moment, even though it was late at night. Christabel reluctantly agrees.The next day however, when Curtis comes home from riding, he finds a note from Christabel telling him she has gone to visit her sick aunt. Of course, Christabel has been with Nick in his hotel room all day. She has told him that she has made up her mind and intends to leave Curtis. Nick realizes, however, when Christabel refuses to let him drive her back to Curtis, that her plan is to have an affair with him until Curtis finds out decides to divorce her, therefore not forfeiting any money she may get in a divorce settlement. Nick is disgusted and after pronouncing her incurably selfish, kicks her out. Christabel returns home flustered, and lies to Curtis that she had been with her aunt all day, reading to her and feeding her hot soup. Her uncle John interrupts and informs her that her aunt Clara died earlier in the day and that he had been trying to contact her all afternoon. Curtis gives her five days to move out. Gobby helps Christabel move out, and when asking her why she doesn't want any furniture, Christabel replies it would only remind her of happier times. Gobby refers to a pile of furs in the back of her car and asks her, won't they remind you? Christabel grins and says she'll simply just have to force herself. Gobby asks Christabel as one last favour, that she please get involved in another scandal. He'll be able to sell her portrait for much more.