After six years' worth of tragic and noble roles, Irene Dunne began a new phase in her career as a top comedienne in Theodora Goes Wild. She plays a prim small-town schoolteacher, raised in an oppressive environment by two maiden aunts. Seeking surreptitious adventure, Dunne writes a steamy romance novel in her spare time--which becomes a scandalous best-seller. Heading to the big city to meet her publisher, Irene has a fling with the artist (Melvyn Douglas) who has designed the dust jacket for her book. Though on surface a Manhattan sophisticate, Douglas is just as trapped as Dunne had been in her small town; he's saddled with a nasty wife and insufferable parents. Both Douglas and Dunne free themselves of those who'd hold them down, and find happiness together. To round out the happy ending, Dunne's small town, which had ostracized her for writing her "hot" novel, welcomes her back with a brass band when the book puts the town on the map. If Theodora Goes Wild doesn't seem quite as funny now as it did in 1936, it is only because most of its satirical targets (notably the shocked spinster aunts) have ceased to exist.
by Hal Erickson synopsis