I'm going to spoil this film pretty much completely, because watching this is not the same as hearing the story, mainly because of the talented Ruth Chatterton who was so good at playing a suffering woman as well as a free spirit, and here she plays both pretty much simultaneously.
Ruth plays Lady Fay Kilkerry, who marries Ronald Kilkerry (Paul Cavanagh) at the beginning of the film. They have a happy honeymoon and everybody just loves "Ronnie" - he's a war hero and such a fine fellow...except he isn't. Which is what Fay finds out when she follows Ronnie one day and sees his car parked in front of a large house when he's supposed to be elsewhere. She finds out the big house is largely empty except for Ronnie and his paramour whenever they are seeing one another, and Fay also finds a framed picture of Ronnie and a smaller picture of "their crowd". She finds all of this out by talking to the servants and by finding Ronnie's lost cigarette case inside. Aside - it must be nice to be able to afford to maintain a 7K square foot mansion year round for the occasional illicit rendezvous in the midst of a global depression, n'est-ce pas??
Fay confronts Ronnie, he laughs it off, and Fay tells him that adultery may be OK in his crowd, but she wants a divorce. In England at the time adultery was the only grounds for divorce, and you must name the party in the adultery as part of the proceedings. Ronnie does the work for her - the woman is Gemma, her brother's wife. Fay's brother tried to commit suicide when Gemma tried to break their engagement, so if he finds out his wife is cheating on him, Fay figures on a repeat performance.
Fay's solution is bizarre. She'll keep her mouth shut about Ronnie and Gemma, but she begins going around demonstrating outrageous behavior - drinking, carousing with all kinds of men but not actually sleeping with them, and even belting out a torch song while wearing a revealing outfit when "the crowd" gets together. So everyone thinks - "poor Ronnie, such a fine fellow, yet he has such a rotten wife". Ronnie eats this sympathy up. In fact he seems to take pride in turning Fay into an object of ridicule and scorn. I could never figure out what was in this for Fay.
And then a poor artist comes along - Paul Lukas as Colin Graham. For all his talk about not having money he seems to always dress for the occasion and has some very elegant digs to boot. He is repulsed by Fay's behavior yet attracted to Fay at the same time, and they begin to spend time together. He finds she's not a derelict at all but a witty charming woman and he begins to fall for her. So how can this work out? A woman who wants to marry her poor artist friend, but she's already permanently married to an unfaithful husband from whom she cannot free herself without destroying her brother's marriage (sham though it is) and probably her brother in the process. Watch and find out. It is time well spent.