Clive Langham spends one tormenting night in his bed suffering from health problems and thinking up a story based on his relatives. He is a bitter man and he shows, through flashbacks, how spiteful, conniving and treacherous his family is. But is this how they really are or is it his own vindictive slant on things?
The new warden of a large American harbor raises the hackles of sailors and fishermen by his strict enforcement of all the safety rules. He takes the time, though, to romance the sister of his biggest rival.
Adapted from a play which was originally produced by the Federal Theatre Project (part of the WPA), this is a film from the Depression era which shows the disparity between life in the slums and the life of the upper class. When a young man inherits a city block in the ghetto, he begins to meet those who live there. One, a young boy, had been crippled in a fire which ripped through his tenement. He meets and falls in love with this young boy’s sister as well.
An old man, being rowed along a river, sees a field of daisies (or Wild Chrysanthemums, as they are described in the title), and thinks back to when he was fifteen. He recalls his time with, and away from, the girl cousin he grew up with and would have married, except the family and other pressures got in the way.
A financier plots to become the richest man in the world by marrying off his daughter to the son of an Arab sheik.
Anna Maria Mentorsi takes her daughter on a vacation to a beautiful seaside resort on the Mediterranean to get away from life in the city. While they enjoy their new surroundings, she catches the eye of the town’s mayor, and considers settling there for good. But when she spurns the advances of a wealthy business man, he threatens to reveal a secret that could ruin all her plans.
When 21-year-old Melissa Collins commits suicide, her guardian, the domineering American newspaper publisher William T. Marshall, searches (in flashback) for a reason. He finds it in a letter he receives from Melissa, after her death. In this, she asks Marshall to take revenge on her lover, who caused her such pain he made life not worth living. Marshall hires a professional criminal to plot the murder, with the proviso that the victim undergo the torments of the damned before he is finally killed. Trouble is, the wrong man is targeted for the publisher’s revenge.
Henri Chatelard is well in his forties, owns a restaurant and a cinema in the city, and appreciate women. When he meets Marie, a 18ish stronghead who just lost her father in a small fishermen village, it is not clear who is the hunter and who is the prey.