Young Hilda Crane (Jean Simmons) arrives by train from New York, where she’s spent the last five years getting divorced twice. She returns to her small home town (the university scenes are filmed in Nevada) and moves back in with her widowed mom (Judith Evelyn). Hilda’s chastened because she’s been searching for love, which is apparently an euphemism for what she calls simply “being a woman” while everyone else calls it being a tramp. We’re told she got this way because her darling dead papa had advanced ideas while her mother is a proper stiff who never hugged her. A nice dashing handsome young fellow (Guy Madison) proposes the moment she steps off the train, but she’s in love or something with her old French-accented college prof (Jean-Pierre Aumont) who, being French, is allowed to want to have sex with her but old-fashioned enough to think of her as a “courtesan” (the topic of the bestselling historical trash he’s written).