A Damsel in Distress stars Fred Astaire in a musical without Ginger Rogers. Astaire yet again like he did with Ginger and would continue to do would play the love sick little boy type character chasing after the girl and dancing along the way.
Astaire plays an American performer named Jerry Halliday who is putting on shows in England. His publicity agent George (George Burns) has made up some wild stories about seeing many women. His secretary Gracie (Gracie Allen) is outrageously ditzy but is only kept on because her father financed one of Jerry’s shows.
Jerry goes out for a walk around London but is immediately mobbed by a group of women. He gets away in a taxi. Soon he is joined by a young girl named Lady Alyce Marshmorton (Joan Fontaine). Alyce is trying to get away from her watcher Kegg. She recently was involved in a little scandal with an American and she is trying to get away from her parents and her castle home where she lives with them. Alyce manages to get away from Kegg and jumps in the cab with Jerry. Now Jerry is totally smitten with Alyce.
Alyce is finally found and brought back to her home. A young servant finds Jerry and tells him to come to castle… not because Alyce is pinning him but because he will lose out on a bet if Alyce does not marry someone outside of her social circle. The servant has Jerry in a small hunting house on the castle grounds along with George and Gracie.
Everyone at the castle believes Jerry to be the American that Alyce was involved with. Lord Marshmorton, Alyce’s father, likes Jerry and wants his daughter to marry him.
After hearing this Jerry now pursues Alyce kind of aggressively. But Alyce sees the article on Jerry apparently being with many women and she does not like that too much.
If you have seen pretty much any Fred and Ginger film or any Fred Astaire film you know the ending.