Prix de Beaute (1930)
Lucienne does her typing at a French newspaper and lives with (possibly, it's not clear) her fiance, a linotype operator for the same paper who thinks beauty pageants are immoral. But uh-oh, she already entered the contest and is now a finalist for Miss France, even though she half-heartedly tries to withdraw since the boyfriend with whom she (possibly) lives and is (almost certainly) sleeping with disapproves. Things get bad when she *wins* Miss France and worse when she snags the whole enchilada and becomes Miss Europe.
The moral boyfriend follows Lucienne to wherever the Miss Europe contest is held and convinces her to give it all up and come back home, where she soon becomes bored and miserable. There are many shots of Brooks framed in the shadow of a birdcage and an excellent sequence of her reacting to the people around her and realizing how much she hates the life she lives. Eventually, Lucienne returns to the glamor of life as Miss Europe -- a film deal, a handsome if slightly unctuous playboy, and fame -- cutting out on her lover in the middle of the night. He follows her and it doesn't end well.
Louise Brooks was a fine actress, but a mighty hearty party girl. She was only 24 when she made this picture and it was to be her last feature role. Apparently, Louise would wander off set only to be found drunk in some chateau by the cops and returned to the company. Brooks never cared for Hollywood, was never a critical success at the time she was most active, and preferred to work on stage or with G.W. Pabst in Europe, who co-wrote Prix de Beaute and directed her in Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl, unarguably her best films.
Alas, at only 5' 2" she was a pretty big boozer and it was a bad time for booze.