powered by AFI
Joanne Leeds, a member of the Leeds of Virginia, a carnival troupe known as the "First Family of Vaudeville," interrupts her singing career to enter exclusive Upton College. Joanne is admitted to the school because the board of trustees think that the "FFV" on her application forms means the "First Family of Virginia." On campus, Joanne is snubbed by a group of snobbish sorority girls led by Gloria Campbell. When Bill Brewster, the school's most popular male student, shows a romantic interest in Joanne, Gloria becomes jealous and decides to make her life miserable. Upon discovering that Joanne has a theatrical background, Gloria embarrasses her by exposing her humble antecedents at a sorority pledge party. After Joanne flees from the party in tears, Gloria coerces Bill into escorting her to the upcoming sorority dance. Joanne, full of pluck, attends the dance alone and joins the band for a rendition of one of her songs. Bill, along with many of the students, applauds Joanne's courage, and with their support, she decides to run against Gloria as a candidate for the title of "Betty Co-ed," the most popular girl on campus. Aware that Joanne will win, Gloria stuffs the ballot box with votes for her rival and then makes it appear as if Joanne won by fraud. When the school board votes to expel her, Joanne, disgusted by the school's injustices, quits and delivers a virulent monologue denouncing its undemocratic ways. Joanne's tirade is overheard by the chairman of the college board, who prevails on her to remain in school. As a result, reforms are instituted at the school, the sorority is democratized, and Gloria, finally seeing the error of her ways, apologizes to Joanne.