1880s Salford, England. Widowed Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton), owner and operator of Hobson’s Boots, lives with his three adult daughters, Maggie (Brenda de Banzie), Alice (Daphne Anderson), and Vicky (Prunella Scales), in a flat attached to the shop. Henry is miserly, dipsomaniacal, and tyrannical, not allowing his daughters to date since their sole purpose in life is in service to him and the shop (receiving no wages for their services). He changes his mind about Alice and Vicky, for whom he will choose husbands, despite these romantic ones already having chosen the men they would marry if given the opportunity. Henry will, however, not provide them with a dowry, which may prove to be a challenge in finding them men he would consider suitable husbands. Concerning Maggie, he believes her far too useful to him as the overly efficient and organized one to let go, and too old at age thirty for any man to want anyway. Incensed by her father’s attitude, Maggie decides she must show him how wrong he is about her being an unmarriageable spinster. As such, she makes a proposal to timid Willy Mossop (Sir John Mills), the shop’s poor, uneducated, and illiterate boot hand (yet best boot maker, apparently better than any boot maker in nearby Manchester), who has known no other professional life than the shop. They enter into a marriage of convenience. Despite the differences in their social classes, Maggie believes she can show her father that she can find a husband while also forcing him to treat Willy better (and by association her) in paying him decent wages, otherwise she will use her wifely influence to convince Willy to take his and her valuable services elsewhere. If their hands are forced, Maggie believes their best weapon is wealthy and particular Mrs. Hepworth (Helen Haye), who said she will have no one else but Willy make her boots. Maggie has even taken into consideration what effect her actions will have on her sisters’ nuptials, vowing to them that all will be all right in that regard. Although she truly has no idea how her father will react, she also may not have considered Willy, who may already have a life of his own outside the shop. If he does agree, what effect will her plan have on him and his entire being?