W.B. Maxwell's novel served as a film vehicle for Alla Nazimova in 1924; in 1930 it made an even better (although underappreciated) showcase for Evelyn Brent, who always excelled at playing bad girls. Here she is May Fisher, the mistress of a wealthy man who dies before he can change his will to make her his heir. Instead, his million dollars goes to his nephew Peter Morton (Robert Ames), who runs a mission on San Francisco's Barbary Coast. May and her maid travel to Frisco so she can get her hands on the money that she feels belongs to her. By pretending to be Mary Smith, a woman on the skids, she easily infiltrates the mission and becomes Morton's assistant. She also finds herself becoming wrapped up in Morton's cause -- and falling in love with him. Morton loves her back, preferring her to his mercenary fiancée Marion (Josephine Dunn). May continues to live her lie, even marrying Morton in the process. When he discovers the truth -- that she was his uncle's lover -- he is angry and disgusted. But May proves herself when labor unrest results in a riot at the mission. She jumps in the way of a bullet intended for Morton and is wounded. She recovers, however, to see the million dollars go towards building a new mission out in the country.
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