Cast & Crew
William Cameron Menzies
On the wharfs of San Francisco, saloon girl Toy, also known as Mary, lives over Mother Bright's bar. When Como Murphy, a fugitive from the law, hides in her room, she falls in love with him. He explains that after he spoke out about the rights of man to a crowd, a riot ensued, during which a policeman was killed. Como took the gun from the killer, but is thought to be guilty of the crime himself. Como, who reciprocates Mary's love, spends the night with her, but leaves to keep her out of danger. He joins the crew of a ship sailing to China after he is befriended by Turk, a big lumbering sailor who is also in love with Mary. Each man is unaware that they love the same woman. While on board the ship, Como becomes the hero of the men because he stands up for them, and entreats them to treat one another as brothers rather than as competitors. After some rivalry, Como and Turk become fast friends. In the meantime, Mary attempts to hold down a regular job at a coffee shop but is fired when they find out she was "that kind of girl," and is unable to find other work. Como returns to San Francisco and is reunited with Mary, who implores him to escape to Mexico with her. Turk, meanwhile, prevents fellow seaman Sadik from turning Como in for the reward money, promising to kill any man who does. Turk also proposes marriage to Mary. Desperate to escape with Como, she agrees to the marriage on condition he provide her with some money, and he does so, believing she intends to purchase a wedding dress. When Turk finds out that Mary actually plans to run away with Como, he becomes enraged and turns Como in to the police. After Como is imprisoned, Turk regrets his betrayal and uses the reward money to hire a lawyer,who arranges for Como's release. Mary visits Como in jail and tells him that both he and Turk are now free.
A. S. Byron
Stephen Morehouse Avery
Frederick Schlick's play was also known as Como Murphy. The Man Who Broke His Heart was the film's working title. A news item in Hollywood Reporter indicates that Miriam Hopkins was slated to appear in the starring role. In the pressbook plot synopsis, "Turk" clearly kills himself because of his betrayal of "Como"; however, at the end of the film it is unclear whether he has committed suicide, or simply absolved himself of his guilt. According to the copyright records, author Tiffany Thayer visited the set and appeared as an extra in the film.