Reluctant Angels takes Mary Jane from being a desperate widowed mother in Kansas City, to an uncertain future in Los Angeles. She and her new husband, Gary, find a Hollywood home by managing a silent film star’s properties. But their lives are turned upside down by the Great Depression, and Gary loses his only income. Mary Jane’s skills are challenged by designing clothes for her girlhood chum, Joan Crawford. Soon Mary Jane learns the exotic tastes of Rudolf Valentino, Helen Hayes, Claudett Colbert, Mae West and Thelma Todd; ultimately introducing sex, police corruption and murder into Mary Jane’s life.