In Depression-era Albany, N.Y., erstwhile baseball star Francis Phelan (Jack Nicholson) has become an alcoholic vagabond after guilt over accidentally killing his infant son led him to desert his family. Over the course of several days, he ambles from gritty job to dirty bar to makeshift sleeping quarters. By chance, he encounters fellow itinerant drinker and his sometime lover, Helen Archer (Meryl Streep). Together, they wax nostalgic about their haunted pasts.
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