The Constant Woman

The Constant Woman (1933), also known as Auction in Souls and Hell in a Circus, is an American Pre-Code film directed by Victor Schertzinger. It is based on an early Eugene O'Neill play called Recklessness.

The Constant Woman
Directed byVictor Schertzinger
Produced byVictor Schertzinger (producer)
Written byEugene O'Neill (play Recklessness)
Warren Duff (adaptation and dialogue) and
F. Hugh Herbert (adaptation and dialogue)
StarringConrad Nagel
Leila Hyams
Claire Windsor
CinematographyArthur Edeson
Edited byRose Loewinger
Distributed bySono Art-World Wide Pictures
Release date
  • 1933 (1933)
Running time
76 minutes (American original release)
70 minutes (American reissue)
CountryUnited States


Marlene Underwood is a star circus performer, whose husband Walt buys the circus while their son Jimmie worships everything his mother does. Marlene leaves them both to go join a larger show, then is killed in a fire, resulting in Walt going into a downward spiral of alcohol and sorrow.

A woman called Lou helps restore Walt's faith in human nature, but she is resented by young Jimmie, who feels she is trying to take his mother's place. Walt gets back on his feet, but now must try to stop Jimmie from joining the circus himself.


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