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While shooting film footage of an earthquake, newsreel cameraman Bill Allen meets and quarrels with newspaper reporter Jane Mallory, whose "sob sister" column Bill loathes. Not to be outdone by the other, both "news hounds" rush to the site of an emergency operating room, where a baby is being delivered by flashlight. Although the night's crises have brought them together, Jane resists Bill's romantic overtures and later explains to him that she has a fiancé in Riverport, Mississippi, and is looking forward to settling down in pampered security. Bill, who enjoys a reputation as a carefree heartbreaker, tries to persuade Jane to marry him, but seriously damages his chances by running off in the middle of his plea to cover a brewery fire. At the fire, Bill's best friend Mike is killed while trying to get a "better shot" of the flames, which Bill suspects were started by gangster Ricci. Shocked by Mike's death, Bill receives another blow when he learns that Jane has left for Riverport to marry her fiancé, banker Hal Caldwell. Soon after, Bill accepts an assignment to cover a flood in the Riverport area and meets up with Jane and Hal. With Hal's help, Bill and Jane discover that the flooding was the result of a crack in a cheaply constructed levee. Although Bill is begged by Judge Beacon, whose dishonest son-in-law was responsible for the levee construction, to destroy his film, he refuses. Consequently, when Beacon commits suicide after the newsreel's opening, Jane angrily rejects Bill and re-commits herself to marrying Hal. Before leaving with Hal, however, Jane rushes to hear the deathbed confession of a gangster's moll, which implicates Burnett, the gangster, in a murder and leads to Jane's kidnapping. Through clever editing of the brewery fire footage, Bill is able to force Ricci, a cohort of Burnett's, into revealing Jane's whereabouts. After a shootout with the gangsters, Bill rescues Jane, who then agrees to marry her news rival.