Cast & Crew
In Mansfield, Ohio, a stock company performs a love scene starring Marlene Underwood before a small crowd in a tent. Marlene's husband Walt, the manager of the company, is chastised by Lou, the ingenue, when he drops a cake baked to celebrate Marlene's birthday. Lou fixes the cake, and after the performance, Walt delivers it adorned with lit candles to his wife, which she accepts with the crowd's applause. When her son Jimmie, who idolizes her, presents her with an incense burner, Marlene sarcastically remarks that it is just what she wanted. Before the party is over, Marlene reads a telegram inviting her to go back East for a show. Although Walt argues that with their present company, they finally have a chance to be together after having worked separately so often and that Jimmie needs her, Marlene feels that the invitation is her last opportunity for success on Broadway and begs Walt not to be selfish. Walt agrees to carry on with the troupe without her, and after Marlene leaves, the troupe moves to various towns for one-week runs. As the show breaks for a move to Reading, Walt and Jimmie decide to visit Marlene in New York. In the city, Walt learns that his wife died in a hotel fire after she had been drinking with a man in her room and one of them fell asleep with a still-lit cigarette. Walt tells Jimmie that his mother died when her curling iron was left unattended after she fell asleep from exhaustion. As Walt and Lou remove Marlene's personal belongings from her dressing room, they learn from one of her letters that Jimmie is not Walt's son. Later, in Galveston, the show's take for an evening performance is abysmal, due in part to a torrential rainstorm. When the local authorities slap an attachment on the show, the cast and crew want to disband, especially since Walt has disappeared for two days. Lou, however, rallies the stagehands to stay for another week, then finds Walt drunk in a speakeasy. When the manager demands fifty-two dollars for the bill, a brawl ensues, and Walt ends up in Lou's hotel room, where she watches over him as he recovers. At breakfast, Walt and Lou lie to Jimmie about Walt's whereabouts the previous night, but Jimmie, who spotted Walt in Lou's room a few minutes earlier, leaves the breakfast table ashamed of them. As Walt is about to sell the show, Lou gets an idea to have some of Walt's old scripts rewritten into a comedy radio series, featuring a husband and wife. The series becomes a success, and as Walt and Lou embrace, ecstatic over their newfound wealth, Walt finally realizes that Lou loves him. Jimmie rejects their marriage plans, believing that Lou is not good enough to take his mother's place, and Lou vows to leave Walt if he tells Jimmie the truth about Marlene. Jimmie runs away and seeks work with Beef, one of the stagehands from the tent show, who is now working for a circus in Camden. From a casual conversation with Beef, Jimmie learns the true nature of Walt and Lou's relationship. Realizing that Jimmie has fled to the circus, Walt and Lou rush there. An errant elephant causes a disruption in the performance and sets the tent on fire. Jimmie is pinned under an overturned wagon, but Lou rescues him. She is attacked by a tiger, but she recovers, and Jimmie gives her his blessing.
The Three Ambassadors
The working title of this film was Auction in Souls. In ads placed in The Exhibitor in April 1933 and Film Daily in May 1933, the releasing companies reprinted a February 1933 Hollywood Reporter review of the film under the former title, in which the reviewer remarked, "The title is a dud." That line is circled in the ads, and the comment, "Thank you, we have changed the title to The Constant Woman," is appended. The film was re-released in 1938 by Atlantic Pictures Corp. under the title Hell in a Circus, which was the title of the print viewed. According to a pressbook in the copyright descriptions, the circus scenes were shot in Baldwin Park, CA, the winter home of the Al B. Garnes Circus. The pressbook adds that hundreds of extras were used for the circus scenes, and that the studio gave the Baldwin Park Chamber of Commerce "carte blanche orders to round up all the city's unemployed" for the film. The Three Ambassadors, a singing group of boys just out of high school, had performed on the radio and appeared with Phil Harris' Orchestra, at the time of the filming.