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After the stock market crash of 1929, the formerly wealthy Geoffrey Colt-Stratton, Jr. and his family are forced to toil at menial jobs. Although they have no car, the Colt-Strattons maintain the only remnant of their past glory, a fully operational yacht. When social organizer Nella Fitzgerald suggests to them that they rent out their yacht to a group of nouveaux riches , Geoffrey coldly declines the offer. His practical daughter Linda, however, convinces him to accept the idea, and Nella begins combing the Social Register of 1929 for down-and-out "blue bloods" to employ on the cruise. Shortly before sailing, Linda catches the eye of gambler Barry Forbes, who with his sidekick, Freddy Finn, stow away on the yacht. During the cruise, which is populated by crude entrepreneurs and gangsters, Freddy and Barry set up a "Monte Carlo" roulette wheel in hopes of raising money for Linda. Unknown to Linda, Freddy has rigged the wheel so that only the house wins, and when the passengers eventually uncover the deception, they accuse Linda of thievery. At that moment, however, the captain, "Sunny Jim" Roberts, deliberately runs the yacht aground, and the passengers find themselves stranded on a South Sea island called Malakamokolu. While the island natives hold the passengers at gunpoint, the captain negotiates their future with the Caucasian queen of Malakamokolu. Sunny Jim offers to "share" the wealthy passengers with the queen, but she locks up the captain and takes the money for herself. After the natives exchange clothes with the captives, the ruthless queen forces everyone, rich and poor, to work for her. Eventually tiring of her new subjects, the queen offers them their freedom on condition that Barry stay behind and marry her. Although he loves Linda, who is still angry over the gambling incident, Barry accepts the queen's deal. However, when the fickle queen hears Freddy playing his saxophone, she falls in love with him and orders a bomb placed on the yacht. Forgiven by Linda, Barry unanchors the yacht, saving the passengers, but not the boat. Now permanently stranded, the queen's captives happily accept their new home in the tropics.