Jimmy Porter (Richard Burton) is a loud, obnoxious man, rude and rather abusive to his wife, Alison (Mary Ure). He works a mundane job with a partner, Cliff Lewis (Gary Raymond), in a candy stall. Cliff lives with Jimmy and Alison and when Jimmy leaves for work Alison confides to Cliff that she is pregnant. She is frightened of Jimmy's reaction to this news, and has not told him about the child. She visits her doctor and asks him if it is too late to do something about her pregnancy. Understanding that Alison is considering an abortion, the doctor immediately dissuades her. Alison tells Jimmy that her actress friend, Helena Charles (Claire Bloom), is coming to stay at the flat. Jimmy hates Helena. In his anger he curses Alison, wishing her the nightmare of a stillborn child to haunt her in her sleep. Helena arrives, and when she has had enough of Jimmy's bitterness toward Alison, she calls Alison's father, Colonel Redfern (Glen Byam Shaw), to ask him to come for his daughter. Alison says this time she will go with him. Helena stays in the flat with Jimmy and Cliff. After Alison has gone to live with her father, Helena tells Jimmy that Alison is going to have a baby. Jimmy says he doesn't care if it has two heads; he has just returned from visiting his mother, who is dying. When he calls Helena an evil-minded virgin, she slaps him. Then they kiss and make love, locking Cliff from the flat. At the candy stall, Cliff tells Jimmy that he has decided to leave. He wants something better. Jimmy has decided to get out of the candy business, too.