Cast & Crew
District Attorney George Lane, swept into office by a mandate to clean up crime, targets mob kingpin Brad McArthur as his first case. Although Brad has made himself almost invulnerable by the successful use of well-placed bribes, Lane seizes upon an opportunity to charge him with manslaughter when a drunken gambler lunges through one of the windows in Brad's casino. However, Brad's wily lawyer, Phil Collins, quickly has him released on bail and then hires publicist Clint Reynolds to orchestrate a heroic image for Brad in the press. Reynolds concocts the scheme of having Brad adopt an orphan, then, when the orphanage turns down his request, Collins hires Bobby, a homeless little newsboy, to play the role. Growing attached to each other, Brad and Bobby find that they no longer have to pretend to play the roles of father and son, thus incurring the jealousy of Brad's girl friend Linda. When Brad later discovers that Linda has been seeing another man, he jilts her. As Brad's trial approaches, Collins realizes that he will no longer be able to bribe the jury on his client's behalf and resigns from the case. With both his lawyer and his image builder powerless to help him further, Brad flees, followed by Bobby. The pair take refuge in the Lakeside Inn where they are befriended by proprietress Alice Martin. Meanwhile, Linda, discovering Brad's whereabouts, turns him in for the reward. As the police close in on Brad, Bobby falls in the lake, and Brad races to save him, forfeiting his chance at freedom. After pulling Bobby from the water, Brad is taken prisoner but promises to return to Bobby and Alice after he has served his sentence.
A Hollywood Reporter production chart credits John T. Neville with the screenplay. All other sources, including the Hollywood Reporter review of the film, give sole screenplay credit to John F. Krafft, and sole original story credit to Harrison Jacobs. Reviews noted that this was John Carroll's first "straight dramatic" starring role and that it was Martin Spellman's second after a brief part in Boys Town, however Spellman had also appeared in Test Pilot, which was released in April 1938. Jacobs' original story was also filmed by Monogram in 1943 under the title Smart Guy, starring Rick Vallen. Although some modern sources call this a Crescent Production, the viewing print and all contemporary source materials only list Monogram.