Summary: When a plane carrying 54 passengers crashes on a rainy night, the first person to reach the chaotic scene of the fiery accident, is smalltime crook Bernie LaPlante. In spite of himself, LaPlante risks his life and saves a plane full of people. Forgoing any glory for his heroic act, LaPlante sneaks off into the night and leaves only one clue behind: one of his $100 loafers. One of the passengers, newscaster Gale Gayley, decides to immediately turn the accident into a live story. The local Chicago television station for which she works pitches the story as a quest to find the hero ("The Angel of Flight 104"), complete with a $1 million reward. That's when John Bubber enters the picture. He meets Bernie LaPlante, who gives the other shoe. Bubber is hungry for fame and soaks up the instant glory that his television appearances bring him. Everyone, it seems, believes and admires John Bubber, Hero -- except LaPlante. Nobody listens to LaPlante, a sleazy character with a well-developed talent for fantastic excuses and self-serving lies. When he asks his friends: "What would you say if I told you I ran into a burning plane and saved a bunch of people and risked my life?" The response from the local bartender is representative: "You wouldn't do it. I mean, it's a character thing, Bernie." Only the reporter, Gayley, notices a few details that don't entirely corroborate Bubber's heroic profile. She finds and confronts LaPlante, throwing him and Bubbber into a four-alarm showdown on the top ledge of the Drake Hotel.