Businessman Spencer Tracy is devoted beyond all reason to his son Edward. Tracy lies, cheats, steals, commits arson, and drives two people to suicide in order to smooth Edward's path in life. The boy repays this loyalty by becoming an ungrateful wastrel, who fathers a child out of wedlock and ends up killing himself. After serving a prison sentence for his crimes, Tracy tries to pick up the pieces of his shattered life by searching for Edward's child. Based on the play by Robert Morley and Noel Langley, Edward My Son unsuccessfully retains the play's devices of never showing Edward and of having Spencer Tracy speak directly to the audience.