Peter Appleton is a writer living in Hollywood during the Red Scare. Suspected of being involved with the communist party, he is fired from his job. Emotionally distraught, he crashes his car and is knocked unconscious and swept downstream. When he washes up on the shores of a remote California town he has no idea where or who he is. The owner of the local movie theatre, Harry, mistakes Peter for his long lost son (Lance), and, knowing no better himself, Peter begins a new life as Lance. Together, Peter and Harry restore the dilapidated theatre to its former glory. Although the town’s people attempt to jog Lance's memory, only a trigger from Peter’s past restores his identity.