Synopsis by Janiss Garza
Known as "Cuddles" when she was a young vaudeville star, the teenage Lila Lee stars in Cruise of the Make-Believes, the actress's first motion picture. She is Bessie Meggison, a poor girl who supports her shiftless father (Robert Hatton) and brother (William Brunton) by taking in lodgers. But Bessie is a dreamer -- she has built a ship in the backyard out of cast-off lumber, and daily she "steers" it on a "cruise of the make believe." One day the wealthy Gilbert Byfield (Harrison Ford) moves in next door -- he has ambitions to become a writer, and he's doing research for a book on the poor. He befriends Bessie, and they share their dreams. Through a third party, he makes one of her dreams come true -- she and her family are sent to live at Gilbert's country estate for a month. Bessie, thinking her father has made good, enjoys herself thoroughly and shares her luck with her friends from the neighborhood. Meanwhile, her father and brother whoop it up with their constant drunken partying. Eventually Gilbert has to come clean with Bessie and he tells her she has to go back home. She blows up at him and storms back to her decrepit house. But Gilbert comes around to see her and they make up.