Cast & Crew
By fraternizing with the powerful men of Washington, D.C., attorney James Blake is instrumental in blocking a trade reconstruction bill designed to turn Depression-hit factories into cooperatives. Then, while on a fishing trip, he meets and falls in love with Charlotte Brown, owner of a canning factory in Springdale, which has been closed because of the prevailing economic conditions. Using the name James Carter, Blake attends a town meeting of the newly unemployed and speaks out against high-powered lobbyists who are backed by corporations. Returning home, Blake is inspired by a magazine story, in which a man liquidates his fortune and goes into hiding, to convert his assets and stage his own death before leaving for Springdale. After his presumed demise, James's wife Ilka continues her affair with George Sartos, head of National Canneries, for whom Blake lobbied. When Sartos refuses to meet Ilka for their rendezvous, she and his envoy argue and she is accidentally killed. The police blame Blake for her death, but believing him dead, close the case. Having already purchased the railroad line that serves Springdale, Sartos hopes to force Charlotte to sell her cannery, but Blake thwarts his plans by promising to buy trucks for the cannery. Sartos then exposes Blake as an imposter, and he is arrested for Ilka's murder. Sartos then starts a town riot by paying people to name Blake as a conspirator in the National Canneries take-over. Blake convinces a sympathetic sheriff to release him long enough to rally the farmers against the townspeople, who are looting the cannery warehouse. Blake's valet then arrives with Sartos' valet, whom he has needled into confessing the true cause of Ilka's death, and Sartos is arrested for inciting a riot. In a spirit of cooperation, the townspeople load the cannery's shipment onto Blake's trucks, and Blake proposes to Charlotte, promising to go to Washington to support the trade bill.
Robert E. Homans
Albert E. Levoy
Dr. Hugo Riesenfeld
The story was published in book form in 1935. The seven mystery writers who contributed to the source novel each wrote one chapter. S. S. Van Dine was the author of the famous Philo Vance detective stories. According to a news item in Film Daily, June Johnson, the 18-year-old daughter of Chic Johnson, part of the vaudeville team of Olsen and Johnson, made her screen debut in this film. Betty Furness appeared in this film courtesy of M-G-M.