Senior Larry Kelly has been chosen valedictorian and is looking forward with best friend Bill Davis to a West Point appointment. In addition, he is romantically involved with Molly Davis, Bill's sister. Larry's father, Tim 'Knuckles' Kelly, becomes reunited with his wife and son after a long absence. They buy a house in a well-to-do neighborhood next door to the Davis family, but when the local newspaper reveals that Tim is an ex-bootlegger, Judge Davis, a harsh disciplinarian, forbids his children to see Larry. Although many consider Larry a pariah, his closest friends and the principal remain loyal. When Bill accidentally runs over a bicyclist while driving Larry's car and a whiskey bottle is discovered in the back seat, Larry takes the blame for his friend. When the truth comes to light, everyone involved realizes Larry's character and integrity, and the two families become reconciled.