~Our Modern Maidens~
~Plot Synopsis~
After graduating from Miss Stearns School for Girls, Billie Brown and her schoolmates spend a wild
night riding in jalopies with their boyfriends. Although Billie’s childhood sweetheart, Gil Jordan,
offers her a ring, she suggests that they keep their engagement secret until he gets his new job, an
embassy appointment in Paris. Gil reminds her that his first appointment is unlikely to be at the
French embassy, but she insists that she will accept nothing less and tells him, “leave it to me!” The
spoiled and energetic Billie, the only child of B. Bickering Brown, a wealthy automobile
manufacturer, feels capable of achieving anything she wishes. The next morning, Billie and Gil
board the 7:11 train for home, along with other classmates, among them, Billie's best friend, the
naïvely sweet Kentucky Strafford, who plans to spend the summer with the Browns. Kentucky is
secretly infatuated with Gil, but only their catty schoolmate Ginger notices. When a distinguished
looking man boards the train, Billie immediately recognizes him as Glenn Abbott, one of the most
powerful diplomats in Washington who has been living in South America. Realizing that he has the
influence to enable Gil to obtain an appointment in Paris, Billie follows him and introduces herself.
Flirting and flattering him, Billie invites Glenn to her father’s 4th of July party held on the Brown’s
extensive estate. Gil, who is uncomfortable with Billie’s scheming, warns that Glenn is “no light
weight,” but Billie’s confidence has no bounds and she enjoys the power that her youthful allure
wields over the attractive man. At the 4th of July party, Glenn’s attraction to Billie grows, and he is
disappointed to observe a special relationship between her and Gil. However, Billie lies that Gil is
“just a boy” and focuses only on Glenn during the party. The abandoned Gil turns his attention to
the quiet Kentucky, whom he considers an innocent child, prompting Ginger to gossip to her
boyfriend Reg about the possibility of Kentucky taking Gil away from Billie. Gil takes Kentucky on a
rowboat and, unaware that he is falling for her innocent charms, goes ashore with her to explore the
woods under a full moon. The next morning Kentucky is dreamy over the romantic possibilities of
the previous night’s encounter, but Gil feels like a cad. Ashamed, he goes to apologize and explain
about his secret engagement to Billie. Hurt but unwilling to injure others, Kentucky forgives him
and suggests that they not ruin Billie’s happiness by telling her what happened the night before.
Meanwhile, Glenn succumbs to Billie’s show of affection, takes her to his small house and is pleased
when she claims to admire its humble comforts. When he shows her a painting of his lonely cabin in
Argentina, a place that is dear to his heart, she mouths more flattery. Feeling he is sufficiently
softened up, Billie asks if he will do her the favor of getting Gil an appointment. At first suspicious,
Glenn states that he has been forthright about his feelings for her and demands that she reciprocate
his honesty, but when she falsely claims that Gil is only a friend who needs help to reach success,
Glenn vows to do anything for her. However, when he makes romantic overtures, she feels ashamed
for having manipulated him and leaves abruptly. Some time later, in Washington, Glenn secures an
appointment for Gil, who cannot overcome his feelings of guilt that his success was achieved by
Billie’s scheming. When Glenn reads in the next morning’s newspaper an announcement of Billie
and Gil’s engagement, he feels betrayed. Having already made plans with Billie to take her for a
drive, Glenn sends his manservant away from the house. In the car, the chastened Billie tries to
apologize to the sullen Glenn, just as a severe rainstorm starts. After the car becomes mired in mud,
Glenn carries Billie to his house and urges her to change out of her rain-soaked clothing into a robe.
Thinking that Glenn’s manservant is there as a chaperone, Billie reluctantly agrees. As she is
changing in the bedroom, Glenn boldly enters, and Billie covers her discomfort by chattering. Glenn
then reminds her that she is “modern,” and when she again tries to apologize for her deceitfulness,
he forces a kiss. However, Glenn’s conscience demands that he not take advantage of her, and when
he pulls back, the relieved Billie commends him for being “decent.” Glenn responds that it is not
decency, but his loss of love that restrained him and he walks out into the storm. On the day of their
wedding, both Gil and Billie have secret misgivings. The ceremony is delayed by the late arrival of
Kentucky, who is one of the numerous bridesmaids and who is obviously troubled but unwilling to
confide her uneasiness to the concerned Billie. After the ceremony, as the reception continues on
the floor below, the newlyweds change clothes to leave for the honeymoon. By chance, Billie
witnesses Kentucky’s farewell to Gil and subsequent lapse into tears when she is alone, and realizes
that her friend is in love with her husband. While trying to soothe the increasingly hysterical
Kentucky, Billie learns that Kentucky is pregnant by Gil, who is unaware of her predicament. When
Gil arrives looking for Billie, Kentucky urges them to leave and be happy, but Billie motions for Gil
to comfort her friend, for whom he clearly has feelings. Decisively, Billie then determines to protect
Kentucky and Gil from scandal by telling her father that because Gil learned that she has been
indiscrete, she cannot remain his wife. Billie then brazenly announces to the crowd of acquaintances
and society reporters that she is going on a modern, “groomless honeymoon.” When Ginger, who is
thrilled by Billie's scandalous pronouncement, makes remarks to further embarrass Billie, her
boyfriend Reg offers his arm in solidarity to Billie. Touched, Billie thanks him, but says that her part
of the show is over, and leaves alone in disgrace. To escape the resulting gossip, Billie takes refuge
in Paris, where she lives in an apartment with Annette, a caring housekeeper. Homesick for her
father, she finds the city of her former dreams a lonely place. Her sadness vanishes when Glenn
arrives at her door and tells her that he has been searching for her and that despite what he said to
her on that stormy day, he never stopped loving her.

Plot Synopsis from afi.com
Directed by: Jack Conway

Written by:
Josephine Lovett - story and continuity
Marian Ainslee - titles
Ruth Cummings - titles

Joan Crawford ...  Billie Brown
Rod La Rocque ...  Glenn Abbott aka 'Dynamite'
Douglas Fairbanks Jr. ...  Gil Jordan
Anita Page ...  Kentucky Strafford
Edward J. Nugent ...  Reg (as Edward Nugent)
Josephine Dunn ...  Ginger
Albert Gran ...  B. Bickering Brown
Edwina Booth ...  Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Adrienne D'Ambricourt ...  Annette - Parisian Housekeeper (uncredited)
Carrie Daumery ...  Wedding Guest (uncredited)
Geraldine Dvorak ...  Garbo Look-a-like Party Guest (uncredited)
Anita Garvin ...  Bridesmaid (uncredited)
Earl McCarthy ...  Party Guest (uncredited)
~Joan Crawford & Rod La Rocque~
~Joan Crawford & Rod La Rocque~
~Remaining Credits~

Produced & Released by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

Produced by: Jack Conway & Hunt Stromberg
Original Music by: Arthur Lange & William Axt
Cinematography by: Oliver T. Marsh
Film Editing by: Sam Zimbalist
Art Direction by: Cedric Gibbons
Costume Design by: Adrian
Dance Director: George Cunningham

Length: 7 Reels
Runtime: 76 Minutes
Released: September 8, 1929