Cast & Crew
Jack La Rue
The crew of the ship, City of Hope , sights a yacht foundering in a deep fog. The next day, the City of Hope captain, engineer and crew go aboard the yacht, which is owned by financier Maximilian Kreig. On the yacht, the engineer is murdered, and the City of Hope crew discovers other dead bodies. After they find a portion of a radiogram, the rest of the story is told in a flashback: Kreig receives a radiogram aboard his yacht informing him that his company is bankrupt, he has been indicted for forgery and grand larceny, and he will be arrested. Kreig consults radio operator Edward Wilson about which nearby Samoan islands are inhabitable, and then kills Wilson. Kreig plots to dispose of all his guests and crew and escape with his fiancée, Lili Kingston, to one of the Samoan islands. After Wilson's body is discovered, Kreig calls all his guests together for an investigation and reveals Millicent Hazlitt's affair with Gregory Cordoff, to her husband Morton's horror. He then warns Gregory in private that Morton has a violent temper and is likely to harm Millicent. Distraught, Gregory bursts into the Hazlitts' cabin and, catching Morton in a fit of anger, stabs him to death with a penknife. After Kreig crosses Wilson and Hazlitt off his death list, the crew catches sight of a plane that has crashed into the ocean along the yacht's route. They rescue the pilot, who is none other than Lili's former fiancé, Jim Cowles. Jim, who deliberately crashed the plane to find Lili, discovers that she consented to marry Kreig only after not receiving any of Jim's letters. Meanwhile, Kreig proceeds with his plans, coldbloodedly killing Millicent by locking her in the freezer, and poisoning his chef to death. After the maid, Lena Klein, begins to suspect Kreig, she arranges to meet Blackie Witherspoon, the superstitious steward, but Kreig pushes her overboard. The Captain sees Kreig do this deed and confronts him, whereupon Kreig pushes him onto a spike, killing him. Gregory commits suicide after Kreig tells him that Millicent did the same, and when the crew attempts to desert the ship, Kreig sabotages the lifeboats, killing them all. The only survivors are Blackie, who accidentally locks himself in a liquor cabinet and gets drunk, Lili, Jim and Kreig. Kreig corners the couple in the engine room and sets the room on fire. At this point, the City of Hope captain and crew board the yacht and Kreig kills the engineer and jumps overboard. The rest of the crew rescues Lili, Jim and Blackie before the yacht explodes, while Kreig, swimming for safety, is eaten by sharks.
Jack La Rue
Jack La Rue's character is listed as "Vincenzo Cordoff" in the pressbook, which also includes a different ending for the film in its synopsis. According to the pressbook, Kreig jumps off the ship and, battered by waves, attempts to climb a rock but drowns. An undated 1932 article in the Los Angeles Herald Express noted that the film would go into production in February 1933 as Dead Reckoning, with a possible cast including Wynne Gibson, Richard Arlen, Cary Grant, Ricardo Cortez, Richard Bennett, Carole Lombard and Sari Maritza.