Cast & Crew
Young detective Bob Horton is engaged to Marie, the daughter of police chief John Russell, who regards Bob as a son and encourages his promotion. When District Attorney Tom Anderson is murdered, Bob cleverly finds the killer, but releases him before the police arrive upon his discovery that the wanted man is his own father, Jim Horton. As a result, Bob resigns without explanation, sacrificing his job and his impending marriage to Marie, in order to protect his father. Bob leaves his engagement party and a heartbroken Marie to make an anticipated rendezvous with Jim, followed by Detective Hendricks, another detective and a rejected suitor of Marie. In a darkened room, Bob meets Krane, one of the men who forced Jim into a life of crime, and who attempts to lure Bob down the same path. Hendricks reports to Russell that Bob took a bribe, and under questioning, Bob says that he was framed, but reveals that he aided his father despite the law. As Bob is about to be arrested, Jim gives himself up, but both he and Bob escape. Jim then takes Bob to Krane's hideout, much to the displeasure of Baker, Krane's lieutenant. Russell and Marie follow Krane and are taken prisoner, and Krane tells Russell that Marie will be hurt unless he escorts him and Baker to safety out of town. Russell now realizes how Krane has managed to force a man to take action against his will, just as Jim had previously been forced. Hearing Marie scream, Bob breaks through a door and fights Krane, allowing Marie to escape and notify the police. During a subsequent gunfight, Jim is killed as he shields Russell from Krane's bullet. As Bob then pursues Krane and Baker, the police chase after all three, but the true villains are finally killed. Returning to the police station, Bob learns that he is no longer a "wanted" man--except by Marie.
Clara Kimball Young
According to a pre-release news item in Film Daily, Fighting Coward was originally titled Wanted Men. It was reviewed in May 1936 by Film Daily, which listed a running time of 60 min., under the title The Last Assignment .