Actress Mignon (Louise Glaum) is the toast of Paris until she marries young American engineer John Stanley (Matt Moore). He is commissioned to go to work in the Sahara desert, and Mignon accompanies him with their baby. But it isn't long before she is lonely and horribly bored. When a wealthy Russian, Baron Alexis (Edwin Stevens), passes through the camp, he offers to take her away to Cairo. She goes with him, and he surrounds her in luxury. Years pass, but the situation does not bring her happiness. One day she takes alms to the beggars' row and sees a filthy dope fiend accompanied by a animated little boy (Pat Moore), whom she recognizes as her husband and son. She takes them back to the palace where she is living. The Baron, enraged by this, tries to throttle her, but her husband kills him. Mignon, Stanley and the boy escape into the desert, where Stanley recovers, regains his memory and learns to forgive the wayward Mignon.
Joan Bruce (Betty Compson) is among the social elite of Miami who spend their time enjoying water sports, parties, and speakeasies in this sun-drenched drama. A side plot finds bootleggers bringing in the illegal booze by seaplane at night. A flare signal is anticipated by the feds to begin the bust and capture the crooks. Joan eventually gives up her flapper ways to fall in love with a young civil engineer. Lawford Davidson, Hedda Hopper, J. Barney Sherry, Lucy Fox, and Benjamin F. Finney, Jr. co-star in this society drama.
The burgeoning population of Mexico City has become even more dense as huge numbers of rural poor swarm to the city in hopes of finding a better life. Dreams fade quickly when they discover that a decent living is hard to come by. Tens of thousands of people live on the fringes of the city dump, scraping to find items in the garbage that could sell for cash. Profiles of several individuals are presented in Nowhere Else to Live, as they struggle to eke out a bare-necessities existence. A man shines shoes, hoping to save enough to marry. A single mother must use the water from a common source, knowing it could be contaminated.