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Soon after his release from prison, gangster Eddie Kagle is killed by his longtime friend and associate, Smiley Williams, and wakes in Hell. When Eddie realizes what has happened, he immediately attempts to break out of Hell and avenge his death. His actions draw the attentions of Nick, the Devil, who notices Eddie's close resemblance to Frederick Parker, an incorruptible judge who is running for governor. Nick offers to help Eddie escape and get even with Smiley, if he, in turn, will help Nick destroy Parker's reputation. Eddie readily agrees and, accompanied by Nick, returns to earth. Nick causes Parker to faint, and while he is unconscious, transfers Eddie's soul into Parker's body. Eddie's first impulse is to murder Smiley. With this in mind, he uses some of Parker's money to buy a gun and charter an airplane. Nick has other plans for Eddie, however, and the plane suddenly develops engine trouble and returns to the field. Barbara Foster, Parker's fiancée, is unaware that Eddie's soul now inhabits Parker's body, and consequently, Eddie's crude behavior convinces her that Parker is mentally ill. Nonetheless, she prompts Eddie to deliver Parker's scheduled political speech. At the auditorium, Eddie, encouraged by Nick, verbally attacks the people who have been Parker's supporters. When opposition hecklers pelt Eddie with rotten vegetables, however, he angrily beats them up, making Parker appear to be a virile hero, rather than the turncoat that Nick had envisioned. The next day Parker is to preside over a murder trial. Eddie offers to fix the result for money, but when he learns that one of the suspects is Rosie, his former girl friend, who married another man while he was in jail, he vows to do everything possible to ensure her conviction. Dr. Max Higgins then persuades Barbara to take Eddie away for a brief rest, hoping it will restore the judge to health. Barbara drives Eddie to the site where Parker and she are building a house. As they talk, Eddie, who has fallen in love with Barbara, realizes what he missed when he became a criminal. Barbara presses for an immediate marriage and Eddie agrees, but after he hears the minister's sermon, he realizes that she belongs to the judge and calls off the wedding. Meanwhile, acting on a suggestion from Nick, Parker's opponents bring Smiley to town and send him to Parker's house. Nick reports Smiley's presence to Eddie, who, because of Barbara's influence, understands that he will be doing wrong if he kills Smiley. Rather than listen to Nick, Eddie heeds the "angel on his shoulder" and refuses to take revenge on his enemy. A confused Smiley then accidentally falls off Parker's balcony to his death. Eddie now agrees to accompany Nick back to Hell, if Nick agrees to leave Barbara and Parker alone for eternity. Nick has no choice but to accept Eddie's terms. After Eddie says goodbye to a mystified Barbara, Nick returns Parker's soul to his body and he and Eddie descend into Hell.