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A week before her wedding, Texas oil heiress Mary "Mame" Carson learns that her fiancé, Phil Barton, wants out of their engagement because he finds her ever-increasing wealth emasculating. Mame takes the breakup well, but lets her guardian, Waco Mosby, talk her into sailing to Paris for a vacation. Waco and Mame fly to New York, and there Mame reunites with Annie Farrell, a childhood friend now known as Madame Firelle, world renowned couturier. After lamenting to Annie that every man she meets is either afraid of her money, or after it, Mame gets the idea to switch identities with one of Annie's models, newlywed Myrtle Brown. Mame plans to pay Myrtle to impersonate her on the Europe-bound ship while Mame pretends to work for Annie, who is mounting a fashion show in Paris. Mame also decides to ask the talkative Waco not to come to Paris, as she fears he will expose her deception. Before she can speak with Waco, Mame is forced to pose as a guest of Pierre DuQuesne, a French entertainer whose hotel room is across from hers. Pierre is instantly smitten with Mame, despite the presence of dozens of other beautiful women at his party. Mame runs out before Pierre gets her name, and later, the money-strapped Frenchman runs into Waco in the hall while looking for his mysterious guest. Unaware that he is searching for Mame, Waco befriends Pierre and offers to pay his back taxes if he sails with Mame and keeps a protective eye on her. Pierre agrees, and as he is boarding the ship, the Liberté , he sees Mame. After identifying herself as Myrtle Brown and Myrtle as "Mary Carson," Mame accepts Pierre's dinner invitation. Mame then cautions Myrtle and her husband, Bill Harris, not to sneak into each other's rooms and ruin her reputation. That night Pierre romances Mame with great ardor and hires a steward to spy on "Mary Carson." Although Annie advises Mame not to take Pierre too seriously, Mame meets him the next day at the ship's bar and allows him to ply her with a potent seasickness cocktail. Tipsy with drink and seduction, Mame stumbles back to her cabin, where Annie again warns her about the playboy. As a test, Annie suggests that Mame introduce Pierre to Myrtle and see how he reacts to "her" money. Pierre, meanwhile, learns from the steward that Bill has been trying to get into "Mary Carson's" cabin, then calls Waco in Texas and receives permission to "cut in on" Bill. That night in the dining room, Mame introduces Pierre to Myrtle and is annoyed when he lavishes her with attention. Myrtle insists later that Pierre did not make a pass at her but instead lectured her about "wolves." Despite Myrtle's assurances, Mame is cool to Pierre after he suddenly cancels a lunch engagement. When he then announces he cannot make dinner, Mame asks him about his feelings for "Mary Carson," but he declares that he loves only Mame. Despite Pierre's pronouncements, Mame continues to be annoyed, especially after seeing him dining with Myrtle. After she and a jealous Bill overhear Pierre in Myrtle's cabin employing his favorite lines on the intoxicated model, Mame is furious. When she then hears Pierre telling Waco over the phone that he is marrying "his ward," Mame accuses Pierre of being a fortune hunter. Confused and hurt, Pierre breaks off with Mame, who runs crying to her cabin. Later, upon docking in Paris, Mame goes into hiding and Myrtle is arrested for impersonating the heiress. Waco, who has flown to Paris, finally tells Annie about his deal with Pierre and promises to get Myrtle out of jail, while Pierre confesses to Annie that Myrtle had admitted her impersonation and he had always intended to marry Mame. Just before Annie's fashion show is to start, Mame shows up, having promised to perform a number. As Mame is singing, Pierre rushes the stage, but she pushes him away. Waco, Bill and Myrtle then arrive, and Pierre assures Waco of his intention to marry Mame. As soon Mame finishes her number, Pierre grabs her backstage and carries her to a taxicab. Mame finally gives in, and after Pierre pledges his eternal love, they kiss.