powered by AFI
Wealthy gentleman Jack Thomas is engaged to Marjorie Channing, whom he plans to marry in one month. While planning his wedding and a European honeymoon, Jack is told by Mario, his guardian and financial adviser, that his name is really Giacomo Tomasulo and that he is not really an orphan. Mario also informs him that his father is on his deathbed and wants to see him. When Jack meets Frank Tomasulo, a brother he did not know that he had, at the Hotel Ritzi in Jersey City, he soon learns that his hard-boiled brother is a racketeer in the liquor-running business. Jack also realizes that Frank expects him to shed his high society ways and join the mob once his father dies. Jack eventually succumbs to his brother's pressure to join the mob, but insists that his fiancée be kept ignorant of his involvement. When Marjorie becomes entangled in a Tomasulo jewel robbery, however, she is prevented from leaving her hotel room and learns the truth about the family. Jack's first assignment in the gang is to take the rap for a jewel theft that has gone bad, which he does after Frank tells him that the money from the theft went to care for his ailing father. After he serves ten days in jail, the charges against Jack are dropped and he is freed. When he returns to the hotel, Jack punches Frank, and then reads a note from Marjorie, in which she informs him that she has decided to leave until the "unfortunate affair" has ended. Jack now realizes that he can never go back and live among the "swells," and when Frank offers him the opportunity to take over the Montreal end of the "booze" racket, he takes it. During a hijack attempt on Frank's goods by the rival Florio gang, Jack saves his brother's life by shooting Dante, one of Florio's henchmen. Several months later, at Florio's headquarters, Ruth, Dante's ex-moll, is sent by Florio to infiltrate the Tomasulo gang and take revenge on Jack for killing Dante. Jack meets Ruth at a banquet, which has been called to bring peace between the rival mobs. There, the drunken Florio insults Ruth and Jack punches him. The police arrive in time to prevent a gun battle from erupting and all are dispersed. After the raid, Jack tells Frank that he wants to quit the racket, and that he has been thinking about Marjorie. However, when Frank shows Jack a newspaper article announcing Marjorie's marriage to a man named Barlow, he is crushed. Jack soon concludes, though, that Ruth reminds him of Marjorie, so he marries her. Florio, angry at Ruth for having double-crossed him and still out to avenge Dante's murder, decides to kill both Ruth and Jack. When Florio and his men attempt to kill the couple, Ruth manages to shoot Florio. Jack, too, is shot in the mêlée, and dies.