Loosely based on a novel by James M. Cain, this romantic drama centers on the struggles of a humble vineyard worker (real-life opera star Mario Lanza) who rises to become a renowned opera star. In the original book, Damon, the protagonist, has a homosexual relationship with the patron who boosts his career, but in the film, the patron is a wealthy and manipulative young woman named Kendall (Joan Fontaine). As charming as she is selfish, poor Damon cannot help but fall in love with Kendall. Unfortunately, she is a fickle creature and soon grows bored with him, thereby breaking his heart and causing him to choke during his audition for the Met. Afterward, he flees to Mexico. There he comes down with a mysterious, debilitating movie disease. Fortunately, Juana, a beautiful ex-bullfighter's daughter is there to help him recover. Damon falls in love with her, but just as it looks like happiness will finally be his, conniving Kendall reappears. In addition to singing numerous selections from popular operas, Lanza also sings a pair of Sammy Cahn/Nicholas Brodszky pop tunes: "Serenade" and "My Destiny."