In Bel Air, California, live a happy wife and a somewhat unhappy husband. The wife is Lucy Dell (SHIRLEY MACLAINE) a comedienne and a motion picture star. The husband Paul Robaix (YVES MONTAND) is unhappily her director. Paul is sad because he has made his name directing his wife's pictures/ He would like to do something on his own. With the connivance of Bob Moore (ROBERT CUMMINGS) Paul decides to direct a 'new wave' picture in Japan starring an as yet undiscovered girl in Puccini's "Madama Butterfly." Sam Lewis (EDWARD G. ROBINSON) their producer, considers this preposterous. Lucy, when she hears about it and realizes that she is being left out, considers it outrageous. But Paul and Bob prevail. They leave for Japan to make "Madame Butterfly" starring a Japanese girl.