A poor woman gets involved in rackets, putting romance aside, and rises to the top of the gang until she is sentenced to prison.
Blondie Johnson (Joan Blondell) quit her job to avoid sexual harassment and was evicted with her sick mother but can't get relief. After her mother dies, she is determined to get money. Cab driver Red (Sterling Holloway) takes her to a hotel and loses the fare gambling. Blondie asks Danny (Chester Morris) for help and gets $10 for a cab, but he finds her later. Danny works for racketeer boss Max Wagner (Arthur Vinton). Danny gives Blondie $5,000; but she rejects it, taking a grand. Max tells Danny not to worry about Louie, who will only get manslaughter. In court Blondie weeps for Louie (Allen Jenkins). At a banquet Danny gets credit for getting Louie off. Danny tells Blondie that Max collects insurance protection. Gladys (Claire Dodd) tells Danny that she missed him. In her apartment Blondie tells Danny that Max hired her; but Danny says that Danny told him to drop her for being too smart. Blondie and Danny make a business partnership.
Danny sells insurance to protect from con games, but a jewelry manager (Joseph Cawthorne) says no. Blondie buys a bracelet for $4,600 and writes a check. She offers to sell it for $600. The manager has her arrested for a bad check; but the check was good. The manager goes to Blondie, and Danny says he will handle it. Max plans to get Danny. Blondie pays Mae (Mae Busch) and Lulu (Toshia Mori) for helping. Danny gives Blondie a bracelet and kisses her; but she tells him to wait on romance. Louie calls Blondie to keep Danny there, but he left. Max calls on Louie, who leaves to get others while Max is shot. Blondie tells Danny, Louie, and Eddie (Olin Howlin) to work together. Blondie goes into Danny's office and is jealous of Gladys. Danny calls on Blondie and asks her to take a letter to Detroit. Blondie reads that Danny will wed Gladys and gets off the train. Louie reads the letter to keep her away. Blondie with Louie and Eddie gives Danny orders.
Blondie hears that Danny squealed on Louie. Joe (Donald Kirke) says they should get Danny, and Blondie says okay. Blondie learns that the janitor, not Danny, identified Louie. She rushes in Red's cab; but Joe and Eddie shoot Danny as she arrives. Blondie and Danny both agree they were wrong. Blondie is sentenced to six years and sees Danny under arrest too. He plans to wait for her.
This melodrama shows the desperation of an unemployed woman turning to crime; but she finds it does not work, and she missed out on romance too.