A story about a gal who lost her reputation – and never missed it!
Tira begins as a sideshow performer where she shimmies and sings for crowds of admiring men. She has a collection of expensive jewelry from various admirers with expensive tastes. When her sleazy ex-boyfriend Slick causes her legal trouble, she becomes a lion tamer to earn extra money to pay for a lawyer. (West did some of her own stunts, including riding an elephant into the ring.) Putting her head into a lion’s mouth makes Tira a circus star and affords her a fancy residence and servants.
Tira’s fame in the big show takes her to New York City where adoring fans are introduced to her nightly. Among them, cousins Kirk Lawrence (played by Kent Taylor) and Jack Clayton (Cary Grant), are two New York City socialites who requested to meet her. Despite his prestige and current engagement to another woman, Kirk becomes enamored with her. He showers Tira with presents. Kirk’s outraged fiancé regards Tira as a “guttersnipe” and confronts her. Not long after the confrontation Kirk’s cousin Jack takes an interest in his cousin’s affair and decides to interfere. Against Kirk’s wishes, he goes to see Tira to ask her to leave Kirk and his fiancé alone. While he is there, they fall madly in love. Tira and Jack’s romance leads to a wedding engagement. Tira tells her boss she’s quitting to get married. Knowing that he is about to lose his biggest money making act, her boss plots against her, and manages to break off the engagement, leaving her heart broken and confused. Jilted, Tira sues Jack for breach of promise. The defense tries to use her past relationships to discredit her, but the judge allows her to cross examine the witnesses herself and in doing so she wins over the judge and jury and wins back Jack’s heart.
A triumphant Tira ends up with her wealth, her fame, and a handsome husband.
Wesley Ruggles (June 11, 1889 – January 8, 1972) was an American film director.
He was born in Los Angeles, a younger brother of actor Charles Ruggles. He began his career in 1915 as an actor, appearing in a dozen or so silent films, on occasion with Charles Chaplin.
In 1917, he turned his attention to directing, making more than 50 mostly forgettable films — including a silent film version of Edith Wharton’s novel The Age of Innocence (1924) — before he won acclaim with Cimarron in 1931. The adaptation of Edna Ferber’s novel Cimarron, about homesteaders settling in the prairies of Oklahoma, was the first Western to win an Academy Award as Best Picture.
Although Ruggles followed this success with the light comedy No Man of Her Own (1932) with Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, the comedy I’m No Angel (1933) with Mae West and Cary Grant, College Humor (1933) with Bing Crosby, and Bolero (1934) with George Raft and Carole Lombard, few of his later films were in any way… read more
A look at the posters for “Hollywood’s Naughtiest, Bawdiest Year.”