powered by AFI
A barbershop, caught between competing slot-machine combines, is bombed by a passing car. Discovering that children were killed in the explosion, gangster Steve Kalkas executes the man responsible. Kalkas arrives at the Palm Parade nightclub to hear Dixie Moore sing and is greeted by maitre'd Eddie. J. G. Temple, a former associate of Kalkas, who is in debt, propositions Dixie's friend Jackie Nolan for a quick trip to Havana. Eddie interrupts Dixie to auction her kisses, but she chooses a drunk reporter, Jim Adams, over Kalkas. After Eddie has Jim knocked out, she takes him home and the next morning calls his editor, George Kramer, and gives him her own $500 to make up for what he spent at the auction. Kramer then sends Jim to London on assignment to help him forget his fiancée, Joyce Beaton, who is marrying another man. Meanwhile, Dixie and Jackie quarrel over her unexpected departure to Havana with Temple. Kalkas, who sincerely loves Dixie, offers to marry her, but she does not love him, so he buys her an expensive apartment. After Kalkas receives word that the governor is appointing a special prosecutor named Briggs to investigate the bombing, he has Temple killed and sends Temple's girl to Big Edna, an experienced moll, without realizing she is Jackie. Back from London, Jim visits Dixie, and when Jackie's body is found in the river, he goes with Dixie to the hospital to identify her. Kramer assigns Jim the slot-machine story and he investigates Big Edna's seedy dive and finds Jackie's clothes. There he hears Big Edna dialing "Circle-1010" on the telepone phone before escaping. Dixie asks Kalkas for his help, but Jim is wary of him, so they agree to meet the police commissioner at Kalkas' office. Despite Dixie's involvement with Kalkas, Jim wants to marry her. After Jim has left, Dixie remembers hearing the number "Circle-1010" and, dialing it, discovers it is Kalkas' private line. Kalkas prepares to execute Jim by pushing him down an elevator shaft, as he did with Temple; however, when he realizes the police are on their way, he calls the elevator up for a quick escape. A gunfight ensues, during which Dixie rushes to save Jim from the elevator. Unaware it has moved, Kalkas falls to his death. Relieved that Jim has survived, Dixie leaves with him.