Cast & Crew
Larry Wayne is feared by many who wish to stay out of his New York Daily Blade gossip column, "Broadway Broadside," or not be mentioned on his "Okay, America" radio show. At his newspaper office, he downplays any amorous advances from his secretary, Sheila Barton, who generally shields him from angry readers. His managing editor, Roger Jones, decides to have Larry do some "real" reporting and orders him to cover the kidnapping of Ruth Drake, daughter of a wealthy Cabinet member. Following up on a hot tip from former reporter Joe Morton, now a drunken neighborhood derelict, Jimmy meets with the supposedly retired racketeer "Mileaway" Russell, who nearly kills Larry when he presses him for his connection to the Drake disappearance. Mileaway relates to the reporter that he kidnapped Ruth Drake after her speed boat, which Mileaway mistakenly thought was a police boat, forced him to dump $100,000 worth of "uncut stuff" into the water. He wants the ransom to pay for his lost earnings. After Larry hands over the money at the assigned time, Ruth cannot be found at the designated location, and Larry finds a note reading, "It can't be done." Having alerted the police and his readers of the imminent release of the girl, Mileaway's double-cross causes Larry considerable embarrassment when his headline goes stale. His managing editor does not believe his story either. Abducted by Mileaway's men, Larry is introduced to the big boss, "Duke" Morgan. Knowing that John Drake, the abducted girl's father, is close to the President, Morgan instructs Larry to relay a message through Drake to the country's chief executive. Morgan's orders are that all criminal charges against him must be dropped and a pending two-year prison sentence be reduced to win the girl's release. At a meeting with the President in Washington, D.C., Larry is told that the government cannot and will not make deals with criminals. However, Larry successfully bluffs Morgan into thinking his terms have been met. After Morgan releases Ruth, Larry shoots Morgan in his hotel room as his gang of racketeers are loudly celebrating a false victory in the ante room, unaware of their boss's death. Larry exits the building, satisfied that he has rid the world of at least one criminal. During his next broadcast, however, Larry is killed by one of Mileaway's men as revenge for Morgan's death.
Charles Dow Clark
Al K. Hall
The Three Cheers
Everett Hoagland's Band
This movie was initially written with the intention of columnist Walter Winchell playing the lead. When he returned to New York, Lew Ayres took over the role. "Okay, America!" was a catch phrase used by Winchell on his radio show.
The above credits and plot summary are based on the viewing of an incomplete print and from a studio screen continuity. According to a news item in Variety, Universal wanted to borrow Carole Lombard from Paramount for a lead role in this film, and also hoped to cast William (Stage) Boyd. In 1939, Universal remade William Anthony McGuire's screen story as Risky Business (see below).