Following the death of his sister, Frank Adler (Evans) is left raising his spirited young niece, Mary (Grace).

Upon starting school, it is discovered that Mary is far more intelligent than her peers, a fact that comes to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Duncan). Frank resists Evelyn’s plans to send Mary to a school for gifted children, insisting that his sister would have wanted her daughter to have a normal life, leading to a bitter custody battle which threatens to separate Frank and Mary.