Cast & Crew
After attending the murder trial of a man who is sentenced to death on evidence that is purely circumstantial, newspaper reporter Jim Baldwin decides to write an exposé hoping to put an end to capital punishment based solely on circumstantial evidence. With his fiancée, Adrienne Grey, a court artist, Jim pays a visit to the paper's wealthy and eccentric gossip columnist, Fred Stevens, and the two men concoct a plan that will forcefully demonstrate how misleading circumstantial evidence can be. First, they plan to stage a fake brawl in public over Adrienne, then Jim will be seen stalking Stevens' home, after which the house will be burnt to the ground and a skeleton found in the ruins. In the meantime, Stevens will be hiding out in Texas and will finally resurface at Jim's sentencing for Stevens' supposed murder to prove that grave errors can result from trials in which the only evidence is circumstantial. Unknown to Jim, however, Stevens, who earlier proposed to Adrienne and was rebuffed, is plotting to get his revenge by framing Jim, whom he secretly despises, for his "murder." Stevens obtains a passport under an alias and surreptitiously prepares to leave the country; however, before he can board a steamer bound for France, he is mysteriously murdered, and the police find both his charred remains and the planted skeleton in the ruins of his home. Jim is tried, convicted and sentenced to die in the electric chair for the murder of Stevens because half his cuff link was found by the body; he was seen sneaking around the house; he was heard threatening Stevens; and his gun is deemed the murder weapon. A desperate Adrienne frantically tries to gather evidence to save Jim and through her inquiries, learns that Stevens once had an affair with Bernice Winters, the wife of Ralph Winters, the newspaper's publisher. Shortly before the date of Jim's execution, a man impersonating a guard helps him to escape, and he is taken to the home of Winters, who admits that he arranged the prison break. The phony guard is captured by the police as he attempts to skip town, and he subsequently reveals that he was hired by Winters. The police then surround the Winters' home and prepare to recapture Jim. He attempts to escape, but Winters is shot by one of the policemen as he tries to intervene. As he lays dying, Winters confesses that he killed Stevens because of Stevens' relationship with his wife. Mrs. Winters corroborates her husband's story and embraces him, and Jim is then released to the waiting arms of Adrienne.
Modern sources credit Abe Meyer as musical director and list the following additional cast credits: Al Bridge (Cassidy), Lafe McKee, Henry Hall.