Cast & Crew
Upon graduating from college, Russell Tilford informs his mother Cordelia that he wants to take over the family newspaper and "modernize" its operation. Russell, who is engaged to Diana Winthrop, the daughter of a well-to-do developer, also complains to his mother about his younger brother Eddie, whose interest in Annabelle Hibbs, the town "tart," causes him much social embarrassment. Despite her skepticism about Russell's improvement plans, Cordelia, who has run the newspaper since her husband Ed deserted the family years before, allows her son a free hand. Anxious to impress Diana and her father, Major Stephen Winthrop, Russell shuts down the newspaper's small press, moves the operation into bigger offices, and drops his mother's small-town journalistic style. At the same time, Ed, now a tramp, appears in town and asks Cordelia if he might see his sons. Because she had told Eddie and Russell that their father died heroically in World War I, Cordelia denies Ed his visit. Ed, however, remains in town with his friend, Zack, an old printer who works with Cordelia, and ingratiates himself with Eddie without revealing his identity. When Eddie tells Ed that he wants to leave town because Russell treats him like a child, Ed convinces him not to run away, but to "stick it out" as his "old man" would have. Russell, meanwhile, endorses a water project that Major Withrop is backing, despite the fact that several of the town leaders strongly oppose it. Eventually, Russell's policies cause the newspaper to lose revenue and threaten its solvency. To prevent bankruptcy, Russell convinces his mother to allow him to use her house as collateral for a bank loan. When Russell then neglects his mother's birthday party, Eddie finds him at the Winthrop's house and calls him a "four-flushing quitter" in front of Diana, who breaks her engagement to Russell. After Ed saves the newspaper by giving the bank money that the now-deceased Zack had willed to him, he tells Russell the truth about his identity. Inspired by his discovery, Russell works with his father to restore the newspaper's circulation. Convinced that Russell has matured, Diana returns to him, while Ed, seeing that harmony has been restored, slips away once more.
The working title of this film was The Understanding Heart. According to a Film Daily news item, Edward Le Saint was a cast member, but his paticipation in the final film has not been confirmed. Variety incorrectly reviewed the film as The Quitters.