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Sleepers East

Sleepers East(1934)

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Lena Karelson, out on parole for tenuous ties with the gangster underworld, goes to live with her friend Dixie. Dixie finds Lena a one-night job at a bachelor party, which Lena accepts with reluctance as she's trying to avoid potentially troublesome situations. At the party, she meets Jack Wentworth, the mayor's son, who brings her to Aaron Lasker's gambling club and promises to give her half of his winnings. When Jack loses at the roulette wheel, however, he accuses Lasker of fixing the table and then, after Lasker has led them out, shoots the club proprietor. A gangster, Callahan, who was about to shoot Lasker when Jack unwittingly performed the job for him, is arrested for the crime. Lena promises Jack that she'll keep quiet about the incident. Meanwhile, Jack's father, Mayor Wentworth, plans his campaign strategy: he wants to have a racketeer convicted in order to win the women's vote. Jack approaches his father to confess that he murdered Lasker, but Wentworth's aide, Carl Izzard, aware of the boon Callahan's conviction will be to the campaign, convinces Jack to leave town until after the trial. Martin Knox, Callahan's lawyer, learns about Jack and Lena and sets out to find Lena, who meanwhile has returned to her home town, Twin Oaks, to discover her mother dead and her childhood sweetheart, Jason Everett, still unmarried. In the middle of the night, Lena suddenly decides to leave her mother's house, which has been willed to her. Later Knox discovers her in Toledo and threatens to reincarcerate her for breaking parole if she does not testify for the defense. Lena is carried onto the train to New York on a stretcher as a disguise, and Knox keeps a close watch on her. When the train pulls in at Twin Oaks, Jason sees Lena in a window and decides to board. He informs her that he's sold his business to follow her and to leave small town life forever. The train crashes when a hotheaded engineer persists in driving too fast, and Lena is knocked unconscious. After Jason gets a doctor, Izzard approaches Lena and claims that if she testifies she'll be tried as an accessory. Terrified of this new threat, Lena and Jason flee, but train detective Jacob Trautwein, believing that Jason is a bank robber, shoots him. The two return to the train, Jason on a stretcher this time, and Lena is once again placed under Knox's surveillance. At the trial, she testifies the truth with great reluctance while Izzard's men stare at her menacingly. Just before Lena reveals his name, Jack shoots himself, thereby convicting himself and closing the case for good. Jason meets Lena at the courthouse and the couple kiss.