A financier from New York rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousness of a bookkeeper. Based on the true story of Clarence Day, a stockbroker who wants to be master of his house, but finds his wife and his children ignoring him, until they start making demands for him to change his own life.
In late 19th-century New York City, stockbroker Clarence Day (William Powell) strives to maintain order in his bustling household. Despite his attempts to be the chief authority over his four sons, his wife, Vinnie (Irene Dunne), is the one who truly keeps order in their home, much to Clarence's chagrin. To gain more respect, Clarence reluctantly considers making changes that will benefit everyone, including his own baptism.