The film is based loosely on the life of the Irish Tenor, Josef Locke (1917-1999), played by Ned Beatty. The story revolves around an attempt by Micky O'Neill (Dunbar) to revive the fortunes of his Liverpool nightclub by promising his patrons that he will produce Josef Locke. After a series of unfortunate bookings (including, most notably, Franc Cinatra, a Sinatra impersonator), Micky books the mysterious Mr. X, a man who insists that he cannot be booked as Jo Locke due to the legal issues that would invariably ensue. The elusive Locke left England during the 1950s to avoid paying taxes, leaving behind "a beauty queen, a Jaguar sportscar, and a pedigree dalmatian, all of them pining. O'Neill's personal and professional life are left in ruin after the beauty queen, Kathleen Doyle, exposes his Mr. X as a fraud. O'Neill returns to Ireland to find the one true Josef Locke and bring him back.