Eva Lovelace, would-be actress trying to crash the New York stage, is a wildly optimistic chatterbox full of theatrical mannerisms. Her looks, more than her talent, attract the interest of a paternal actor, a philandering producer, and an earnest playwright. Is she destined for stardom or the “casting couch”? Will she fade after the brief blooming of a “morning glory”?
A starry-eyed young actress comes to New York (from Franklin, Vermont) to pursue a career in acting. There she goes to the office of a famous Broadway Producer, Louis Easton (Adolphe Menjou). While waiting, she meets other actors and actresses including 'Bob' Harley Hedges an elderly British actor, at the end of his career. She befreinds Hedges and convinces him to become her vocal coach and mentor.Hedges is well know to Easton and to Joseph Sheridan (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) who are in Easton's office at the time, discussing Sheridan's new play. When they come out to offer Hedges a part in the play, Eva wrangles an introduction and milks it for all it is worth. All three men end up being impressed by Eva but she leaves the impression of being more of a confused romantic who is in love with the idea of being an actress than someone who has the talent to be one.Easton fobs her off as just another young hopeful while Hedges likes her enthusiasm – but Sheridan seems struck by her effervescent personality.Despite help from Hedges and Sheridan and a try-out for a small part, Eva is unsuccessful and is found one night by Hedges, starving and penniless, in a diner near Time Square. He offers her a lift home in his cab but, on the way, decideds to invite her to a party he is attending – at Easton's place.At the party, Eva's freshness, captivates all the males, especially Theatre Critic, Henry Lawrence (Richard Carle) and alcholic playwright, Charley Van Duesen (Tyler Brooke). Together the three sit down and chat over a bottle of champagne but (on an empy stomach) Eva becomes inotxiacted and ends up telling everyone in the room what a wonderful actress she is. Then, to prove her point, she acts out scenes from 'Hamlet' and 'Romeo and Juliet'.Her Juliet almost brings tears to Sheridan's eyes and the others in the room are impressed but Eva is so drunk that she falls asleep on Easton's knee. He has his bultler take her up to a room to sleep it off.In the morning Eston calls Sheridan over (early) to help him get rid of a girl he has just spent the night with and Sheridan agrees to give her an envelope, with some money inside it, to pay her off – with the story that Easton had to leave town on business.Sheridan uses the oportunity to promote Eva to Easton by reminding him how well she perfromed the previous night. Easton agrees but then says how awful he feels that he slept with her.Shocked at the news, Sheridan heads off to give Eva the envelope and to tell her the news that Easton wants nothing more to do with her but, before he gets very far, Eva swans into the room as if all her dreams have just come true. She departs, with a theatrical flourish, before Sheridan has time to inform her what Easton has just said, with the impression that she is going to to hear from Easton very shortly.Sometime later, a new play is opening and the leading actress, Rita Vernon (Mary Duncan) decides to use the opportunity to press for more money. She asks for; her name in lights, $1500 a week and a half share of the profits. This infuriates Easton but she inists that she will walk out if he does not agree to her terms.Outside, Sheridan urges Easton to call Vernon's bluff. He says he has a marvellous young understudy to play the role. Who else but Eva. Eva goes on to stun the audience with her performance and of course becomes the toast of the towm. After the show Easton comes in to congratulate her and she tries to elicit from him some sign of affection but he says there can never be anything between them. Eva is devastated. Soon after Easton leaves, Eva's dressing lady, Nellie Navarre (Helen Ware), enters and Eva confides that she feels as if she has just lost everything on the very night that she got the very thing she wanted. When Hedges and Sheridan arrive Nellie leaves and Hedges delivers a warning along with his heartfelt congratulations. He says that many young stars are 'morning glories' – that they come out only for a breif period and then die – pointing to Eva's dressing woman, Nellie, as a case in point. But he emphasises that, if she works hard, Eva can have a long and illustrious career. After Hedges leaves Sheridan stays on to declare his love for Eva but she is so depressed by Easton's rejection that she hardly seems to care.When Nellie returns, Eva tells her about Sheridan's declaration of love and Nellie reminisces that she wishes she had taken more notice of a similar declaration many years ago. But, oblivious to any advice, Eva seems to drift off into her own world, gushing over how wonderful everything will be and how she must take life as it comes – leaving the audience to wonder just what will become of her.