Previously filmed in 1923 as a vehicle for Marion Davies, Rida Johnson Young's warhorse theatrical property Little Old New York was dusted off by 20th Century-Fox for Alice Faye, Fred MacMurray and Richard Greene. The latter plays the nominal lead, Scottish inventor Robert Fulton, who in 1807 arrives in New York City with the intention of building a steamboat which will accelerate transportation between the many boroughs. Everyone laughs at "Fulton's Folly" with the exception of gorgeous tavern keeper Pat O'Day (Alice Faye), who offers Fulton shelter and financial assistance. This doesn't sit at all well with Pat's boyfriend Charles Brownne (MacMurray), who like most of the sailors in the region is fearful that Fulton's steamboat will put him out of business. By film's end, however, Brownne has aligned himself with Fulton, if only because of his intense dislike for the villain of the piece, rival mariner Regan (Ward Bond). Several notably 19th century New York personages show up for cute cameo bits, among them Nicholas Roosevelt (Robert Middlemass), John Jacob Astor (Roger Imhof) and Washington Irving (Theodore Von Eltz).