Dramatic School with Luise Rainer and Paulette Goddard. Louise (Luise Rainer) is a student in a school for dramatic arts in Paris. She is poor so she works nights on the assembly line at a gas meter factory. In order to hide her humble situation from her classmates and also as a way of practicing her acting, she invents a society life for herself. The character she adopts has a rich lover and a closet full of fabulous dresses, but eschews jewelry. When asked why she didn't join her friends after school, she explains that she has spent the night dancing with celebrities. These fabrications seem artistic to her, but her friends suspect she is just a big fat liar looking to impress them. After a famous actress and her boyfriend/benefactor - the Marquis Andre D'Abbencourt - visit the factory floor one night, Louise weaves them into her fantasy life. Another student (Paulette Goddard), who is actually dating a man in the society set, confirms that Louise has been lying about her relationship with the Marquis, and plots to embarrass Louise in front of all of her classmates. In the end Louise gets to live the life she imagines and to become the famous actress she always longed to be.
Luise Rainer won back-to-back Oscars for her roles in The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and The Good Earth (1937) under producer Irving Thalberg at MGM. When Thalberg died, Louis B. Mayer placed her in lesser movies and her career dwindled. She has one more movie from 1938 for me to see. She is still alive, by the way, and has just turned 100, which must be why TCM is showing these movies.
Dramatic School classmates include Lana Turner and Anne Rutherford. MCMXXXVIII staple Melville Cooper plays a producer. Louise's roommate and coworker is played by Marie Blake who later used the stage name Blossom Rock and who ended her career playing Grandmama on "The Addams Family".