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On a sound stage at Premier Pictures in Hollywood, successful film director Ken Lane is preparing to shoot the next scene of his new production, a five-year-old pet project set in Sweden. Tempestuous star Hedwig Forsell, whom Ken discovered, becomes irritated with her maid for a small oversight, then stalks off the set after claiming that the script is "bunk" and vowing to return home. Despite producer Max Hooper's efforts to defuse the situation, Ken refuses to play "wet nurse to a flat-footed Swede." When Max suggests replacing Hedwig with an American, Ken insists that his film needs a Swedish actress who can sing well. The New York office pressures Max to shut down the production, but Ken keeps hoping to discover his elusive star. When Ken and his fiancée, Gerry Marsh, visit a circus, Ken is taken with the beautiful Jean Kendall, a sideshow concession worker with a fake French accent. Although she does not initially believe Ken's promise to make her a movie actress, he convinces her to give it a try. Ken places Jean in the home of Lisa and Svente Bjorkman, from whom she learns the customs and language of Sweden. Ken is able to stall Max's cancellation of the project for another five weeks, and after Jean successfully passes herself off to a group of Lisa's friends, Ken believes that she is ready for Max. Jean, who has fallen in love with Ken, is disappointed to learn that he is engaged. Consoled by Lisa, Jean nonetheless hopes that one day Ken will love her. Ken tells Max about Jean, whom he has renamed Sigrid Lund, and convinces him that she is reluctant to become an actress. Max invites Jean to lunch and believes, after much effort, that he has convinced her to sign a seven-year contract with his studio. After Jean performs a love scene with Ken as a screen test, Gerry views the developed footage and becomes convinced that Jean, whom she recognizes from the circus, is too realistic in her performance. As the publicity for the new star fills headlines across the country, Max invites the press and representatives of the film industry to meet Jean at his home in Santa Monica. As Sigrid begins to sing at the party, the drunken and jealous Gerry exposes the scam and walks out on Ken. Max, infuriated with Ken for not telling him of his decision to cast an American instead of a Swede, lashes out at the director, who resigns the next morning. After Jean disappears, the public swamps theater owners with letters demanding that her film be released. Max, realizing that it was a mistake to lose the star and her director, offers to renegotiate with Ken, who will return to the studio only if Jean is found. Learning from Lisa that Jean has returned to the circus, Ken trails her to Kansas City, where the reunited couple declare their love.