This fictionalised account of the life of Margaret ‘Molly’ Brown was adapted from the Broadway musical of the same name, which was inspired by the real-life Molly Brown’s experience in surviving the Titanic disaster on her return from Europe to the USA.
The story begins with Molly, at six months of age, surviving a flood of the Colorado River and being raised by impoverished Irish woodsman Shamus Tobin (Ed Begley), who finds Molly on the shore of the river and adopts her.
Molly (Debbie Reynolds) grows up to be an illiterate tomboy, but she is not without ambition and yearns to be wealthy and enjoy the luxuries she has never known. What she wants more than anything else are a brass bedstead and a red silk dress.
The day eventually comes when she leaves Shamus to seek her fortune in fashionable Denver. On the way there, she takes a job singing in a disreputable saloon in Leadville, where she is wooed by virile young prospector Johnny J. Brown (Harve Presnell).
The two eventually marry, and when Johnny strikes gold, they become fabulously wealthy – Molly gets her long-awaited brass bedstead and red silk dress – and move into one of the most lavish mansions on Pennsylvania Avenue in Denver, where Molly longs to be part of the elite ‘sacred 36’.
Unfortunately, the 36 are not ready to accept the flamboyant, rough-talking Molly Brown.
Uneducated and lacking polish, Molly and JJ are shunned and rejected by Denver’s socialite families and head off to Europe to become cultured.
There, Molly wins the affection of royalty and social leaders who accept her for the warm-hearted creature she is and, inviting some of them back home to America, she sails home to impress Denver’s finest.
Johnny, a country boy at heart, tires of her obsession with the upper crust. Although he has told her in song that he would never say “no” to her, he finally does so when he refuses to go on living with her.
Molly must now decide what she would rather have – Johnny’s love or the recognition of Denver society.
Before the inevitable happy ending, Molly does indeed find herself unsinkable.
Margaret ‘Molly’ Brown
Johnny J. Brown
Prince Louis de Laniere
Baron Karl Ludwig von Ettenburg
Grand Duchess Elise Lupavinova