Molly Louvain (Ann Dvorak) is a young woman working as a clerk at a hotel. The product of a broken home, abandoned by her mother at a young age, Molly seeks a better life for herself and hopes to be a better mother than the one she had. And she's attractive enough to draw men to her easily: Jimmy (Richard Cromwell), a young and naive bellboy, who truly loves her; Nick Grant (Leslie Fenton), an tough guy with big plans, not all of them legal, who is out for a good time; and Ralph Rogers (Donald Dillaway), an upper-class playboy, whom she hopes to marry. When she's abandoned by Ralph -- who doesn't know that she's pregnant -- Molly takes up with Nick, who leads her into a life of petty crime and two-bit thievery. She also has a daughter, whom she decides to protect by putting her in foster care. Meanwhile, her life with Nick draws her ever further into serious crime, culminating with the fatal shooting of a police officer. Identified as a suspect in the shooting, she goes into hiding with Jimmy, masquerading as husband and wife, in a rooming house where she meets Scotty Cornell (Lee Tracy), a cynical reporter who thinks he knows all there is to know about women, including Molly. They're drawn to each other despite her fear that Scotty will figure out who she is -- but he doesn't until it's too late, setting up a trap that gets Molly caught by the police.
by Bruce Eder synopsis