Morgan begins her career as a Chicago carnival dancer and catches the eye of fast-talking, double-dealing Larry Maddux, whose promotion catapults her to fame as a Broadway performer in Show Boat and a headliner in her own nightclub. She anguishes over her romantic relationships with both him and Russell Wade, a wealthy, married attorney. When she realizes the caddish Maddux merely has been using her to support the upscale lifestyle he has come to enjoy, she turns to drink. She loses the bulk of her money to the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Wall Street Crash of 1929, hits rock bottom, and is hospitalized in the alcoholic ward in Bellevue. Maddux has a change of heart and arranges a gala testimonial dinner, hosted by Walter Winchell and Florenz Ziegfeld, in her honor. The film's ending suggests this was Morgan's first step on the road to recovery, success, and happiness, which was not the case in real life.