Lela “Torchy” Larson is the featured attraction on the gambling ship Queen Of Joy. She’s been living with the man who runs the place, Phil Carida (Paul Lukas). Alcoholic millionaire playboy Ted Rendon is obsessed with her.
One night on the boat he goes into her dressing room and refuses to leave. He’s drunk. She has to go out and sing and she tells him to be gone by the time she gets back. She leaves and he goes into a closet and falls asleep.
Maggie Flannagan (Ruth Donnelly) looks after Lela and the chorus girls. She tells Lela to marry Ted for his money. Later on Lela returns to her room and finds Phil getting it on with chorus girl Sadie. He plays innocent but she’s not that dumb.
Meanwhile Louis, a cashier, comes on board with two mugs who want to rob the place. The robbery goes bad as one man is killed and Phil catches Louis as the inside man. While Lela looks through the porthole Phil kills Louis.
Lela goes back to her room and Ted tells her wants to marry her. They leave on Ted’s boat before Phil can stop them. Back in Phil’s cabin he’s confronted by the two thieves. The lights go out and bullets fly. Phil stops one.
Ted and Lela head for Reno and get married then it’s off to Long Island. Phil is in the hospital and is kept informed by his pal Spats (George E. Stone). Phil is feeling better and they get on a train for New York.
Marriage isn’t so great as Lela sits home while Ted keeps getting drunk and carousing with a blonde named Violet. Maggie shows up and wants Lela to dump him and grab a few million. Lela still thinks she can reform him. Ted’s aunt and uncle show up and tell him about Lela living with Phil. He doesn’t care and tosses them out.
One night Ted has a drunken party. Lela walks in as he’s on the floor with a drink and Violet. She takes him upstairs to sleep it off. Outside Spats and Phil drive up. An angry Phil heads for the house.
Ted wakes up and finds a gun in a drawer. Lela locks herself in another room. As Phil comes into Ted’s room, Ted shoots himself. Phil runs out. Lela is charged with Ted’s murder.
Not a bad movie despite the cornball ending. It’s loosely, very loosely based on a case involving torch singer Libby Holman and the death of her wealthy husband.
George E. Stone became known as Boston Blackie’s sidekick The Runt in the movie series.
Paul Lukas had a career that spanned 1915-1970. He won the 1944 Best Actor Oscar as Kurt Muller in “Watch On The Rhine.”
Ruth Donnelly had a career that spanned 1914-1965.