Julie Foster; Alfred Foster (horse breeder and Julie's father); Slim Nelson (horse trainer); Ronald Sampson, Jr. (heir to a vast fortune)
Horse trainer Slim Nelson is in love with Julie Foster and wants marriage, but she won't consider the proposal. Although he satisfies her sexual needs, she wants more from life than racetracks, stables, and horses. During a vacation trip with her father, Julie meets handsome, polished Ronald Sampson, Jr., and the two fall in love. Julie lies to him about her background and lets him believe that she is as wealthy and as well-bred as he is, but the relationship deepens and Julie realizes she should tell him the truth. She is sure he will forgive her. Before she has the chance to speak with him however, she and her father are called home when a prize horse falls ill. Ronald surprises her with a visit. He is unimpressed with the cheap life around a racetrack and accuses Julie trapping him with lies. He walks out on her. Slim, too, drops her. She has spurned his love and has shown only contempt for his working man's background. Julie is left alone with her "broken dreams and shattered hopes".
Sally (high school graduate); Bill (Sally's sweetheart); Doug (soldier); Sally's Mother; Jean (Sally's friend)
Bill leaves town for military service after promising Sally eternal love and fidelity, but, as time passes, he writes less often and Sally finally receives a "Dear Jane" letter. She is crushed. True love is only a trick of the imagination, she tells herself, and then decides to give herself to any man that comes her way rather than be fooled again. Her cheap behavior damages her reputation. One day, she meets Doug, a sincere young soldier recently stationed in town, and the two fall in love. Sally dreams of escaping her tawdry past and marrying him, but eventually he learns of her sleazy history and ends their relationship. Once again, her heart is broken. She makes an effort to mend her self respect by getting a job and being more selective about her dates. She hopes Doug will return but realizes it's not likely to occur.
Joan Starling; Mabel Starling (Joan's sister); Ted Brian (Joan's boyfriend and a police force rookie); Mother Starling; Trudy and Helen (Mabel's friends); Judge
Joan Starling would like to have a fast, gay life like her sister but she's stuck with Ted, a man who makes little money. The two sisters leave home after arguments with their mother and move into an apartment with roommates Trudy and Helen. Joan's life changes dramatically. She wears chic new clothes, attends glamorous movie premieres, and dallies on luxury yachts with sexy men. When Ted calls, she brushes him off but does so with some uncertainty and regret. Mabel and her roommates throw a wild, noisy party that disgusts Joan with its tawdry cheapness. The police appear at the door in response to numerous complaints from neighbors. Among the lawmen is Ted. The party guests are rounded up and taken to night court where the judge (a Starling family friend) is appalled to find Joan before him. Ted speaks in Joan's favor and the judge releases her into his custody. She regrets her recent past and, when Ted proposes, she realizes life with him would be wholesome, rewarding, and meaningful. She accepts.
John (TV repairman); Mike (John's boss); Perdita Webster; Mrs. Webster (Perdita's mother); Pablo (Perdita's fiance)
On the job, John meets and falls in love at first sight with Perdita, a part-Brazilian beauty who is very closely guarded in the Latin tradition by her mother. One day, he sees Perdita on the street and offers her a lift home. She accepts but with uncertainty about doing so. He invites her for a moonlight stroll in the park and kisses her with great passion. She is confused, hurries away, but later that evening meets him in the park where they make intense love. Perdita confesses her mother has arranged her marriage and her fiance Pablo is arriving from Brazil to meet her. John surreptitiously witnesses Perdita's first encounter with her fiance, a lewd, disgusting, and selfish man. When Pablo leaves the room, John comforts Perdita but dismisses her suggestion they elope, knowing she would some day regret the insult to her mother. Mrs. Webster overhears the conversation and makes it clear to the two that Pablo is not the gentleman she thought. John however has proved himself and he receives her approval.