Lotte März (Dolly Haas) is hired as a secretary at an insurance company because she is ugly; introducing her to the (male) accountants, the personnel manager says, "I hope that you will finally be able to work in peace. " The men harass her and conspire to lure her into a compromising position by having one of them, Fritz Mahldorf (Max Hansen) pretend to find her attractive. The manager discovers her in an embrace with Fritz and fires her. The self-absorbed Fritz, showing remorse that is unusual for him, arranges for her to be rehired as assistant to Director Mönckeberg (Otto Wallburg, a comical figure ). Lotte has fallen for him, but he makes a date at his flat with the Director's girlfriend, Lydia (Genia Nikolaieva). Soon after she arrives, so does Lotte, and then so does the jealous Director. Farcical misunderstandings ensue, including the discovery of Lydia's fur coat and a fancy-dress ball at the Director's villa in which Lotte dresses as a pirate (just like the Director). Lotte undergoes a complete makeover at a beauty parlour: haircut, perm and facial—and is transformed into an attractive flapper. (As the New York Times reviewer put it, "As always, however, the ugly duckling becomes a disturbingly graceful swan. " ) Fritz falls in love with her and love triumphs, although he remains a flatterer and a deceiver and she has contemplated suicide.
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