An honest police captain named McQuigg becomes a tough rival to a powerful bootlegger named Scarsi, even though McQuigg's pinches never stick because Scarsi and his organization control the corrupt politicians and judges. When Scarsi can't scare McQuigg off, he gets him transferred to a quiet police precinct in the suburbs, but McQuigg continues their war of words via a pair of wisecracking newspaper reporters. Then McQuigg catches a huge break when Scarsi's younger brother gets picked up for a hit and run accident in his precinct, putting in motion a complex plan to bring down the mobster using the reporters, a nightclub singing gold digger, the upcoming elections and Scari's own organization. Written by
Only one copy of the film is known to have survived. It was long thought lost before being located in Howard Hughes' film collection after his death. The film was restored and preserved by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas film department. The restored copy is frequently shown on Turner Classic Movies in the United States. See more »
Like TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS and THE MATING CALL, this film has now been restored by UNLV (which found the prints of these films once thought lost in an archive of producer Howard Hughes' possessions) in cooperation with Flicker Alley.
Lewis Milestone, who had just directed TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS for Hughes, brought much of the same sense of friendly rivalry between the two leads to this picture, as well as the same co-star, Louis Wolheim. All the elements of many a subsequent gangster picture are here: The close personal relationship between the antagonists (gang boss Wolheim and cop Thomas Meighan); the kid brother whom the gangster wants to shelter from the rackets (George E. Stone, soon to appear in LITTLE CAESAR and many another gangster flick), but who runs afoul of a tough little chanteuse (Marie Prevost). Mob bosses cavorting in lavish nightclubs, overwrought gangland funerals, crooked politicians, a wet-behind-the-ears reporter with two old pros as a chorus: it's all here.
Enough of the action takes place in a run-down precinct house to belie the story's stage origins, but there's plenty of action, including a shootout between two rival gangs, to keep things hopping.
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