Franchot does not enter the film until a good 45 minutes have passed (Only I would post 20-something screen captures of a 15-20 minute performance). His role is small, but pivotal. Before his entrance, we see vaudeville performer Kitty lose her husband, a fellow entertainer, in a tragic accident. Their daughter Shirley is sent to live with Kitty's in-laws, who disapprove of the entertainment industry and Kitty personally. When Shirley is 14, Kitty returns to raise her and quickly trains her to enter the biz.
It is quickly apparent that Kitty is a ruthless stage mother who will stop at nothing to make her daughter famous. Maureen O'Sullivan is sweet and obliging as the put-upon daughter while Alice Brady (as Kitty) schemes and blackmails to get Shirley to the top.
Watch Stage Mother to see if Kitty maintains control of her daughter or if Shirley finally fights back for a life of her own.