Two Irishmen, Patrick Shaw (Patrick Clarke) and Seamus O'Sullivan (Conn Horgan), enter the U.S. illegally. Landing in New York the pair start out with dreams of making it big but soon find themselves in dead-end jobs and drifting apart. As Seamus pursues various get rich quick schemes, the more cautious Patrick holds down a janitor's job and plays good Samaritan to washed up alcoholic author Tom Finnegan (Malachy McCourt). Along the way Patrick falls for Helen (Beverley Elder), a struggling actress entangled in a messy break up with Jeffrey (Roger Davis). Everything comes to a head when Seamus turns to backroom gambling, Tom hits rock bottom and Jeffrey makes a vicious play to win Helen back.