Cast & Crew
Jack La Rue
Depressed because his self-indulgent family neglects him, John Winfield, the president of Winfield Steel, offers racketeer Larry Romero $30,000 to kill him. Romero accepts the job and takes $15,000 as a down payment, but secretly doubts John's desire to die and, with his henchmen, Heinie and Bullet, plot to reform John's family. First, Heinie and Bullet try to scare off Ashton Woolcott, who has been filling Mrs. Winfield's head with Freudian psychology, which in turn has caused her to ignore the problems of her family. Then Heinie and Bullet try to scare Eddie Winfield, John's wayward son, from drinking and gambling. Finally, Romero abducts John's wild daughter Barbara from a nightclub and tries to frighten her by explaining that he is a gangster. When none of his scare tactics work, Romero ships John, who is by now impatient to die, to a health farm. After the newspapers announce that John has been kidnapped, Tom Wilson, Barbara's forgotten boyfriend, accuses the distraught Winfields of selfishly neglecting John. Ever the sycophant, Woolcott steps in to denounce Tom, but Mrs. Winfield concedes Tom's point and shows Woolcott the door. Meanwhile, as John is improving his health and outlook on the farm, Eddie fills in at Winfield Steel, and Barbara unwittingly asks Romero for help in finding her father. Back on the farm, Romero takes John for a walk and announces that the time has come to finish the job. Suddenly nervous, John confesses that he no longer wants to die, and Romero tells him about the changes in his family. After he offers Romero $50,000 to terminate their contract, John returns home. Although pleased with his family's transformation, John is distressed to discover that Barbara is infatuated with Romero and begs the gangster to break off with her. Romero reluctantly agrees and, by making a phony drunken pass at her, terrifies Barbara into rejecting him and returning to Tom. Satisfied, John hands Romero his $50,000, but Romero proudly refuses the money, moving John to call him the "finest man I ever knew."
Jack La Rue
The working title of this film was The Quitter. Although a print of the film was not viewed, the above credits and summary were taken from a cutting continuity deposited with copyright records. According to a Hollywood Reporter production chart, Harry Holman was to be a cast member, but his participation in the final film has not been confirmed. One reviewer complained about the story's out-dated references to Freudian psychology. This film bears some resemblance to a 1934 First National picture called A Very Honorable Guy, which was also based on a Damon Runyon short story .