Nick's Saloon sits on San Francisco's waterfront - a haven for misfits and outsiders. Bar-room philosopher Joe (James Cagney) presides over the tavern, passing out advice and encouragement to friends and strangers alike. Through the swinging doors of thebar pass eccentrics, ex-convicts, delusionals, musical geniuses and heartbroken lovers. When a crooked detective invades the saloon, reality threatens to destroy their asylum, but Joe rallies the bar's oddballs in a vicious confrontation with the scoundrel. William Saroyan turned down several offers to adapt his Pulitzer prize-winning play "The Time of Your Life" until approached by James and William Cagney. Saroyan's idiosyncratic humor was expertly translated by director H.C. Potter and intensified by Cagney's adept portrayal of the aimless visionary Joe.