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While working at Hollywood's Brown Derby, Mary Evans, a pretty, sassy waitress, amuses alcoholic film director Maximillan "Max" Carey with her sharp wit and clever observations. Charmed by Mary, Carey invites her to the premiere of his latest film, which is being presented at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, and then spends the night drinking and carousing with her. The next morning, the ambitious Mary cajoles Max into taking her to the set of his latest production, and she eventually convinces him to give her a walk-on part in the film. Untrained as an actor, Mary performs her role terribly and is fired from the production. Determined to regain her part, Mary practices at home that night until she finds the proper rhythm and style for her delivery. The next day, she stuns Julius Saxe, the film's producer, with her performance and is signed to a seven-year studio contract. While visiting the exclusive Santa Barbara Polo Field, Mary, now a polished movie star, meets Lonny Borden, an Eastern-bred millionaire. After a fiery courtship, Mary and Lonny marry in an opulent, much publicized ceremony, but differences in their social backgrounds as well as the pressures of Mary's Hollywood career soon take their toll on the marriage. At the same time, Carey, lonely for Mary's companionship, increases his drinking until he is forced out of motion pictures. When a distraught Carey shows up drunk in Mary's bedroom one night, Lonny misunderstands his intentions and, in a jealous rage, files for divorce. Now alone, Mary gives birth to Lonny's son but refuses to allow Lonny to see the baby. After Mary bails an intoxicated Carey out of jail, Carey commits suicide in Mary's bedroom. Her career ruined by the subsequent scandal, Mary abandons Hollywood and moves to France. Eventually a repentant Lonny shows up in France and, after informing her that Saxe wants her to star in his next movie, is reunited with Mary and their son.