Even the description shown here is wrong. There is nothing in this film about a crooked district attorney. In fact, he's the only guy who's playing it straight in the entire cast.
Glenda Farrell is at her best here as "Click" Stewart, a photographer for a sensational paper. She's out asking bums in the Bowery questions about a potential story when she runs into one bum (Otto Kruger) that is particularly irritable and irascible and strangely talks like an attorney. She gets his picture and finds out that the bum is William Reardon, a prosecutor who got a conviction five years before for murder against a man who ultimately turned out to be innocent. Unfortunately the exonerating evidence came after he had been executed. Even more unfortunately, the man left behind a daughter. Reardon resigned from the D.A.'s office, began to drink heavily, and ultimately wound up on skid row.
After the paper does a sensational story on Reardon, he files a $75000 slander and defamation suit against the paper and against Click and the editor in particular. This is where I lost the film just a bit - the guy really did fall apart and really did become a bum, so where is the slander and defamation? But I digress. Reardon agrees to settle for only $15000 if the paper produces the wrongly executed man's daughter. The problem is, after investigating, Click finds out she died two years before. Now Click doesn't want either herself or her paper to wind up paying 75000 dollars, so she gets her aspiring actress roommate to agree to play the part of the dead man's daughter. Reardon falls for the ruse, accepts the 15000 dollars, and turns it over to the girl he thinks is the dead man's daughter, Click's roommate. His conscience feeling clearer, he goes back to his old job as prosecutor, gets decent accommodations, and begins to feel like and therefore live like a human being again.
The problem is, Reardon and Click have begun to "click" and begin dating. The bigger problem is, she knows Reardon will hate her if he ever finds out that she tricked him. The even bigger problem is that a second story man who works for a local gangster knew the dead girl, and specifically knows she's a dead girl. Now he's trying to muscle in on the fifteen thousand that Click's roommate fraudulently collected, and threatening to offer proof that fraud has been committed. Can Click manage to get rid of or outsmart the blackmailer and keep Reardon from knowing the truth? Watch - if you can ever find a copy - and find out.
This film is a great screwball comedy. Glenda Farrell is at her saucy confident best, Otto Kruger excels as the fallen and now restored prosecutor, and Lorraine Krueger as Betty Clarke gives a buried treasure of a performance as an aspiring and not too capable actress who makes up for that with a large dose of charming naiveté. Look out for Eddy "Rochester" Anderson as the operator/receptionist at the apartment house where Click lives. He gives a hilarious performance in his small role.
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