The path to adulthood is littered with broken friendships.
In the suburbs of 1920s Chicago two boys form an unlikely friendship. Lymie Peters is thin, pigeon-chested and terrible at games. That he is an A-grade scholar is no compensation; it is Spud Latham, slow at school but quick to fight and a natural athlete, who is everything he longs to be. Spud accepts Lymie's devotion to him as unquestioningly as Lymie offers it. But as they travel from school to college, tensions start to surface. It is Lymie who first meets Sally Forbes, but it is Spud she falls in love with. It signals the end of the young men's intimacy and the break is almost more than Lymie can bear.