Joan Crawford (Diana), Anita Page (Ann), Dorothy Sebastian (Bea), John Mack Brown (Ben), Nils Asther (Norman), Edward J. Nugent (Freddie), Huntley Gordon (Diana's father), Kathlyn Williams (Ann's mother), Evelyn Hall and Sam De Grasse (Freddie and Bea's mother and father)
Diana is fun-loving and carefree and has a very "modern" relationship with her parents. As she goes out for the evening, she tells her parents, "I'm going to the Yacht Club. See you at dawn."
By contrast, Bea and Freddie's parents warn them against smoking and require that they be home by midnight.
Ann and her mother have an odd relationship. They argue as if they are sisters rather than mother and daughter. However, there is one thing they agree on. Ann's mother wants her to find a very rich young man and marry him.
At the Yacht Club, Diana is the life of the party with several of the young men who dance and drink with her and enjoy her lively company. Ann is obviously jealous of Diana and her popularity.
The only two in the group who have a "relationship" are Norman and Bea. He wants Bea to marry him, but she declines because "things happened" before they met.
Ben, a football hero from Alabama, has just inherited millions and arrives at the Yacht Club for dinner. As he dines in the next room, he can see the wild party taking place and spots Diana dancing. Their eyes meet and a mutual interest ensues. Diana's dancing partner knows Ben and introduces the two.
As the evening progresses, they become more acquainted, and Ben also meets Ann who flirts outwardly with him. After teasing Ben and then denying him a kiss earlier in the evening, Diana allows Ben a kiss before leaving. They both appear to be smitten.
At home, Ann tells her mother about Ben. After doing some checking, Ann's mother tells her "Bradstreet says he has millions. Go after him!"
That weekend, there is a picnic. Diana succeeds in getting Ben to herself when the others go horseback riding, although Ann is very miffed at the turn of events. Ben and Diana have a very romantic time by the seashore, and Diana falls very much in love with him.
Later, at a party on a yacht, Diana, Bea and the others realize Ben and Ann are not there. Although there is some insinuation the two are together, Diana refuses to believe it. She goes to Ben's place looking for him, but he's not there. Upon returning to the party, Ben and Ann arrive and announce their engagement. Diana is devastated.
Ben and Ann are eventually married and so are Bea and Norman. Diana goes to spend a few days with Bea and Norman and soon learns that Norman is very jealous of Bea's past which she confessed to him before their marriage. His jealousy is so great that he storms out of the house when Freddie and two other guys from their crowd show up uninvited. It is also during this time that Diana learns from Freddie that Ann is not happy in her marriage to Ben.
Many months later, Ben catches Ann in a lie about staying with her sick mother. She's really trying to sneak out with Freddie to attend Diana's going away party. Diana is leaving to spend a year in Europe. Still denying the lie, Ann leaves the house in a rage, and she and Freddie go off together and get drunk.
Ben goes to Diana's party and accidentally runs into her upstairs alone. He tells her of his unhappiness. "Diana, something went wrong with me once. I didn't understand you - and I'll never forgive myself," he tells her. Diana retorts, "Because I was a woman - not a lying imitation - you decided I was unworthy." Just as he moves closer to her, Ann walks in, still drunk. She causes a scene calling all of the partygoers upstairs to see the two and making accusations against both of them. She vows to Ben to make him and Diana suffer.
Diana runs from the house, and Ben goes after her. They embrace and kiss, declaring their love for one another but admitting that they have lost each other forever.
Later, after the party, Norman arrives to find Bea and reunite
with her. Because of Ann's drunken condition, the two of them
decide to take her home, but she accidentally falls down the staircase
and dies. Ben is finally free to marry Diana.
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copyright 1999 by Tim Lussier, all rights reserved